Accuracy in Media

You will not believe who is complaining now about politics pervading everything.

Former President Barack Obama was asked at a speech on health care before New York investors what he thought of President Trump’s tweets aimed at NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

“Our big problem right now is politics,” he said. “Can’t even get it out of football.”

This is odd coming from a president who prided himself on politicizing everything. He explicitly called for politicizing mass shootings during his presidency.

In the fall of 2015, he turned a mass shooting at a community college in Oregon into yet another fiery call for gun control.

“We are the only advanced country in the world that sees these mass shootings every few months,” he said in a remark that was widely derided at the time. He said he would be attacked for politicizing the tragedy, but said, “This is something that should be politicized. It is relevant to our common life together, our body politic.

He said he would be attacked for politicizing the tragedy, but said, “This is something that should be politicized. It is relevant to our common life together, our body politic.

“Each time this happens, I am going to bring this up. Each time this happens, I’m going to say we can actually do something about it, but we have to change our laws.”

He then called for voters to consider gun violence when they go to the polls.

He turned the shootings of 22 people at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, into another call to eradicate the Second Amendment.

“Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?” he said at the time. “I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.”

And after Dylann Roof killed nine people in a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., Obama again saw an opportunity to turn the tragedy into a political argument for his gun control policies.

“I have had to make statements like this too many times,” he said. “Communities have had to endure tragedies like this too many times. We don’t know all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.”

Obama’s football remarks came at a speech in which he was doing what ex-presidents traditionally have not done – re-politicizing issues he confronted in office. President George W. Bush was famous for refusing to comment on Obama’s decisions, saying he knew how hard the job was and simply wished him the best.

But Obama has shown no reluctance to insert himself wherever possible in President Trump’s decision making. He accused the current administration of taking steps “to make it harder for people to sign up for coverage during this year’s open enrollment period,” and said, “as a private citizen, I’m going to have to help do what I can to help people get that information.”

For this speech, in which Obama traced the story behind Obamacare, painted it as a success with a few flaws that are easily fixed and rapped his successor for attempting to unwind it, the New York Times awarded him the always-coveted “quote that confirms everything.”

“The thing that impressed me the most about the discussion today is that he really ried to stay away from the politics,” the Times quoted an investor-relations consultant from Akron as saying. “He acknowledged the faults of the ACA. But at the same time, he looked at, ‘Let’s not try to reinvent the wheel.’” 

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