Years after he had a meltdown on Fox News after the reelection of former President Barack Obama in 2012, Republican strategist Karl Rove is once again trashing Obama on Fox News.
This time, it was in reaction to Obama's commencement speeches this past weekend to the millions of high school and college graduates who were deprived of traditional graduation ceremonies due to the national health crisis that's upended virtually every facet of daily life in the United States.
One of Obama's speeches was delivered to the graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), in which he said:
"More than anything, 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 of them aren't even pretending to be in charge."
Obama didn't mention Trump by name, but people saw the statement as part of the growing chorus of voices criticizing the President's repeated dismissals of the virus in its consequential early stages, resulting in a rapid-fire spread that made containment exponentially more difficult.
Though social media erupted with sentiments of how refreshing it was to be addressed by an informed and steadfast leader, not everyone was a happy camper—including Karl Rove, who made a shocking comparison.
"It is so unseemly for a former president to take the virtual commencement ceremony for a series of historically bl… https://t.co/aW3HmmMhL8— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1589807956.0
"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."
Rove's likening of Obama's speech to Black institutions as a "drive by shooting" was seen by many as a dog whistle similar to coded warnings of "Black on Black crime" and "gang violence" designed to paint Black people as inherently more violent than whites.
Former Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor and others were among them.
Karl Rove absolutely chose these words on purpose. Fox News will never cover the actual gun violence epidemic in th… https://t.co/6VgPktTqEO— Tommy Vietor (@Tommy Vietor) 1589811913.0
If Karl Rove thinks a black president speaking truth to black students is a “political drive-by shooting,” then a w… https://t.co/k5s49L4CM8— Keith Boykin (@Keith Boykin) 1589814909.0
Wow, a racial dog-whistle? By Karl Rove? On Fox News? Now I’ve seen everything. https://t.co/24zBosb2Ah— Seth Masket (@Seth Masket) 1589810273.0
Like we’ve been saying, the stage was set for Trump long before Trump. And it’s way past time for those who have be… https://t.co/xs29vBdVe5— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sherrilyn Ifill) 1589811966.0
Huh... interesting metaphor to use for the nation's first black president and his speech to historically black coll… https://t.co/igmQnSY5Z8— Joy Reid (@Joy Reid) 1589816638.0
That Rove criticized Obama's palatability with Trump in the White House laid bare the hypocrisy from many Conservatives.
I guess Karl Rove missed the dozens of times Trump accused President Obama of an undefined fictional crime last week https://t.co/vVX69YSOIJ— Rep. Don Beyer (@Rep. Don Beyer) 1589818266.0
yes, by all means, let's start worrying about seemliness, Karl https://t.co/bXVeuPHcqQ— Tom Nichols (@Tom Nichols) 1589815974.0
Over the weekend the president’s son accused Joe Biden of being a pedophile https://t.co/HFd3dzEYxP— David Freedlander (@David Freedlander) 1589816122.0