Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday said it was "very disappointing" to see former President Barack Obama hitting the campaign trail for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.
"It was very disappointing to see President Obama break with the tradition of former presidents, and become so political," Pence told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. "The American people in 2016 rejected the policy and direction of Barack Obama when they elected President Donald Trump."
.@VP tells Chris: "it was very disappointing to see President Obama break with the tradition of former presidents,… https://t.co/gQ3eiUJ3bb— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday)1536442515.0
Pence's remarks drew stiff rebuke on social media.
Former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, who left the GOP because of President Donald Trump, fired back at Pence, calling him the country's "most titanic fraud and quisling" and asking "what it would take for Trump to disappoint."
Mike Pence, America’s most titanic fraud and quisling is disappointed in Barack Obama talking to the American Peopl… https://t.co/vGL4np3eHy— Steve Schmidt (@Steve Schmidt)1536535215.0
@SteveSchmidtSES https://t.co/PxxxHqe9ua— MOTR Politics (@MOTR Politics)1536535644.0
@SteveSchmidtSES quisling slobbering servility @SteveSchmidtSES , your vocabulary makes me swoon.— Cameron Steele (@Cameron Steele)1536545885.0
Actor Bradley Whitford, who starred in Aaron Sorkin's political epic The West Wing, took a jab at the administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border.
"Imagine how disappointed Jesus is to have people who call themselves Christians tearing children away from their mothers," Whitford wrote.
Aw.... Imagine how disappointed Jesus is to have people who call themselves Christians tearing children away from t… https://t.co/VLWe87sEFk— Bradley Whitford (@Bradley Whitford)1536522053.0
He wasn't alone.
@WhitfordBradley Putting kids in cages, promoting racism and inequality, taking from the poor to give to the rich,… https://t.co/R8DL4yiRSw— Frostreads (@Frostreads)1536522596.0
@WhitfordBradley I was wondering how, "Jesus Pleaser" (@LastWeekTonight ), was living with himself doing something… https://t.co/iHDfiUdmjm— Nick Campagna (@Nick Campagna)1536535950.0
@WhitfordBradley 400 under the age of 5 in cages? Whose monsters are they creating?— Diane S. Baker (@Diane S. Baker)1536542756.0
There were some poignant zingers lobbed at Pence too.
@WhitfordBradley Disappointing? Norman Bates is VP and he’s disappointed in Obama? 😂 Ooookay 🙄— a_wonderful_whit (@a_wonderful_whit)1536527312.0
Mike Pence calls Obama "disappointing" for speaking out when Trump ran the racist birther lie about Obama for 8 yea… https://t.co/SlZNoVApeK— Laurie Crosswell (@Laurie Crosswell)1536538053.0
The blowback kept on coming.
Obama was recently voted the "best president in our lifetime."
Poll: Americans consider Barack Obama the greatest president of their lifetimes https://t.co/LiX3DsjEOz https://t.co/VrijkAdifL— Jonathan Chait (@Jonathan Chait)1531329837.0
@FoxNewsSunday @VP @vp you are very disappointing— DM Johnson (@DM Johnson)1536445880.0
Disappointing is having a president who is "racist, sexist, dishonest, divisive and corrupt," coupled with the "
@GOP failing to hold him accountable."
Mike Pence: “It’s disappointing to see Barack Obama be so political.” Hey @mike_pence the real disappointment is s… https://t.co/iSsGFROuFS— Ryan Knight 🏳️🌈🗽 (@Ryan Knight 🏳️🌈🗽)1536535108.0
Much of the country has been disappointed since November 8, 2016.
Mike Pence says he is disappointed that Pres Obama broke with tradition by speaking out against Trump. Sorry @VP .… https://t.co/FVptblkgSF— Andrew Goss 👊USAF👊 (@Andrew Goss 👊USAF👊)1536505207.0
Let's not forget who won the popular vote.
@FoxNewsSunday @VP Talk about alternative facts!! The American people cast more votes for @HillaryClinton NOT… https://t.co/B07V8LeSD0— Beth D'Amato (@Beth D'Amato)1536445759.0
@FoxNewsSunday @VP He does know more people voted for Hillary, right? By the archaic and unfortunate electoral col… https://t.co/iBKH4Yfcre— Steve (@Steve)1536445826.0
@FoxNewsSunday @VP Not really rejected. Three million more Americans voted Dem.— carlo atzeni (@carlo atzeni)1536470992.0
@FoxNewsSunday @VP @VP Re: “the American people in 2016 rejected the policy and direction of Barack Obama when they… https://t.co/ofz5DoDqJa— Dr. Peace Loving Hippie (@Dr. Peace Loving Hippie)1536495755.0
@FoxNewsSunday @VP But the majority of Americans voted for Clinton not Trump!— Lon Minier (@Lon Minier)1536463193.0
@FoxNewsSunday @VP The majority did not reject the policies of President Obama, as you might recall— Brian (@Brian)1536456533.0
Obama has the right to say what he wants.
@SteveSchmidtSES @VP Pence / Trump must realize Obama does not need their permission to talk to Americans; especial… https://t.co/FWgg7ieOV5— Brenda Lawrence (@Brenda Lawrence)1536542354.0
@WhitfordBradley @ltmcdies Aww too bad . So the former president is criticizing the administration. I say deal . He has the right— Kaeli AKA JoJo Ten0🇨🇦 I ♥️DE (@Kaeli AKA JoJo Ten0🇨🇦 I ♥️DE)1536536888.0
@WhitfordBradley @selectedwisdom Yea, @VP, so disappointingly Obama is using his free speech voice....in other new… https://t.co/OsO6VJ7MaS— b maison (@b maison)1536537042.0
Unlike his predecessor George W. Bush, who has maintained a low profile since leaving office, Obama is getting involved in his party's effort to retake Congress. On Friday, the 44th president torched Trump and the Republican Party for their brand of divisive, nativist politics, though Trump was not mentioned by name.
"None of this is conservative," Obama told an auditorium of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “I don’t mean to pretend I’m channeling Abraham Lincoln now, but that’s not what he had in mind, I think, when he helped form the Republican Party. It’s not conservative. It sure isn’t normal. It’s radical. It’s a vision that says the protection of our power and those who back us is all that matters even when it hurts the country.”
Obama's words garnered praise on Twitter.
@FoxNewsSunday @VP I’m very grateful for @BarackObama ‘s straightforward words. They reenergized HOPE in those of u… https://t.co/SEhGETXt6Y— Heal the World (@Heal the World)1536483416.0
@FoxNewsSunday @VP President Obama spoke up for truth Democracy against Trump's Facist America President Obama won'… https://t.co/PUe5S6WVA2— Linda (@Linda)1536449806.0
@FoxNewsSunday @VP Ahhh. What a relief to hear an eloquent, brilliant, classy, and legitimate President speaking truthfully.— Walton Carson (@Walton Carson)1536460682.0
@FoxNewsSunday @VP Thank Goodness we have a True Legitimate President @BarackObama Speaking up Because he is RIGHT… https://t.co/hNWXZafKBr— Wtfdoicare #IndictTheMF #ImpeachTheMF (@Wtfdoicare #IndictTheMF #ImpeachTheMF)1536485676.0
"It did not start with Donald Trump," Obama said. "He is a symptom, not the cause. He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years, a fear and anger that’s rooted in our past, but it’s also born out of the enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes."
The former president also blasted Trump for enabling bigotry.
"We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination," he said. "And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?"
When asked what he thought of Obama's speech, Trump said he "fell asleep."
"I’m sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep," Trump said. "I found he’s very good, very good for sleeping."