President Barack Obama called for Americans to “reject” the violence at some of Donald Trump’s rallies, but didn’t mention the Republican presidential candidate by name.
The president spoke on Capitol Hill Tuesday marking the pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration to coincide with the visit from Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
Noting the heritage of Irish Americans, Obama said welcoming immigrants has been a long held U.S. value.
“This is about the American brand,” Obama said. “Why would we want to tarnish that?”
“Brand” is something that Trump frequently refers to, making a priority in both his own personal brand and in talking about how he will present America’s image to the world.
Obama criticized the violence at Trump rallies and said protesters should not stop the rallies.
“We should not have to explain to them this darker side of U.S. politics,” Obama said.
Obama turned to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), pointing out they disagree on a number of issues.
“I don’t have a bad thing to say about you as a man,” Obama said to Ryan, who nodded back. “I know you want what’s best for America.”