Former President Barack Obama has stirred up some resentment with his aggressive return to the political stage recently, and a former governor slammed Obama for attacking his successor — something previous presidents have stayed away from, according to The Hill.
Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a Republican, had some harsh words for the 44th president during a Fox News interview.
“What is this damn fool doing coming out of retirement to break with the tradition of not attacking sitting presidents?” Sununu said on “America’s Newsroom.” “That was my first thought.”
Obama is going after President Donald Trump hard as he campaigns for Democrats leading up to midterm elections — something he previously said he didn’t intend to do.
Dating back to the very founding of the nation, most presidents have been very careful about directly attacking either their predecessor or their successor, a tradition that has been honored by all the other living ex-presidents: Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
Obama followed that path for a while, only vaguely criticizing Trump policies or behaviors and avoiding naming the president by name in the comments, before recently shedding all pretense and attacking Trump directly.
Obama apologists might agree with his former spokesman, Kevin Lewis, who says Obama is acting as a citizen, rather than as a former president or the leader of the Democratic Party.
Others, like Sununu, see a more calculated reason for Obama’s change of course, pointing to a fear of a Republican Congress investigating Obama’s administration more closely.
“And all of a sudden these investigations will get to a point where people will start asking, ‘What did Obama know and when did he know it?’ And I think he’s trying to stave that off,” Sununu said.
Sununu also cited Obama’s “insufferable ego” as a reason for returning to the political spotlight.
Vice President Mike Pence said he is disappointed that Obama isn’t behaving like past presidents, but also that it doesn’t really matter.
“The truth is, the American people in 2016 rejected the policy and direction of Barack Obama when they elected President Donald Trump,” Pence told Fox News.