GOP operative and former top Bush administration staffer Karl Rove hurled a dog-whistled complaint on Monday morning at former President Barack Obama’s commencement speech to graduates of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
During an appearance on “Fox and Friends,” Rove wagged his finger at Obama for criticizing President Donald Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the speech.
“It is so unseemly for a former president to take the virtual commencement ceremony for a series of historically black colleges and universities and turn it into a political drive-by shooting,” the ex-Bush administration official told the “Fox and Friends” co-hosts. “This is a moment where these young graduates could be inspired to a life of service, to recognize that life is going to bring challenges and how we handle these challenges is going to demonstrate our character.”
Obama “slandered” Trump, according to Rove, and was “taking a slap” at the officials on the White House COVID-19 task force with his remarks to the graduates.
The former president issued a commencement speech at the “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition” virtual event on Saturday, during which he noted how “this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing.”
“A lot them aren’t even pretending to be in charge,” Obama added.
He also mentioned the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was killed in February after two white men allegedly fired at him while he was jogging, in context of the racial inequality the black community grapples with to this day.
“We see it in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities, just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning,” the former president said.
Watch Rove below:
Karl Rove accuses Obama's commencement speech of being a "political drive-by shooting." pic.twitter.com/AZ3BZFKCYq
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) May 18, 2020