First Lady Michelle Obama gave a rare and impassioned defense of her husband's legacy Saturday, saying he's risen above personal attacks and taken the high road even as opponents have questioned his patriotism, his honesty, his citizenship and his faith.-- First Lady Michelle Obama, April 23, 2016, referring to her husband, President Barack Obama, as related in a story by Gregory Korte of USA TODAY.
"As I’ve walked this journey with Barack, I’ve gotten a pretty good look at what it means to rise above the fray, what it means to set your eyes on the horizon, to devote your life to making things better for those who will come after you," she told the graduating class of Jackson State University, a historically black college in Mississippi.
"I have seen how, no matter what kind of ugliness is going on at any particular moment, Barack always stays the course," she said.
"Yet, too often, instead of acknowledging or celebrating this change, we have a tendency to focus on conflict and controversy. We pay endless attention to folks who are blocking action, blocking judges, blocking immigration, blocking a raise in the minimum wage — just blocking," she said. "We are consumed with the anger and vitriol that are bubbling up, with folks shouting at each other, using hateful and divisive language."
The president has often been at the receiving end of that language, she said. "Charges that he doesn’t love our country. The time he was called a liar in front of a Joint Session of Congress. The nonstop questions about his birth certificate and his belief in God," she said.
Mrs. Obama's defense of her husband was in the context of a commencement address in which she told the 800 graduates that they, too, will face discrimination — in voting rights, criminal justice, education and housing — and have to make a choice of how to deal with it.
"Are you going to get angry or lash out?" she asked. "Or are you going to take a deep breath, straighten your shoulders, lift up your head, and do what Barack Obama has always done — as he says, 'When they go low, I go high.'
"That’s the choice Barack and I have made. That’s what has kept us sane over the years. We simply do not allow space in our hearts, minds, or souls for darkness," she said.
Comment: This is the "only my opponent" caricature, making it sound as if President Obama has only been a victim of vitriol, and not a perpetrator of it.
If Bernie Sanders were elected president, his supporters would “shoot every third person on Wall Street,” former President Bill Clinton joked on Friday.-- Former President Bill Clinton, April 15, 2016, as related in a story by Hanna Trudo of Politico.
Stumping for his wife Hillary Clinton at an event in Fort Washington, New York, Clinton jabbed Sanders and students who support the Vermont senator's attacks on corrupt financial systems.
"One of the few things I really haven't enjoyed about this primary: I think it's fine that all these young students have been so enthusiastic for her opponent and [he] sounds so good: 'Just shoot every third person on Wall Street and everything will be fine,'" he said.
In an interview with NBC News following the event, Clinton insisted his comment was "a total joke.”
Comment: Clinton is using violent rhetoric, though he insists he is using it comically.
SANDERS: Let's talk about super PACs and 501(c)(4)s, money which is completely undisclosed. Where does the money come from? Do we really feel confident about a candidate saying that she's going to bring change in America when she is so dependent on big money interests? I don't think so.-- Democratic presidential contenders Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY), April 14, 2016, during a Democratic primary debate.
CLINTON: Make no mistake about it, this is not just an attack on me, it's an attack on President Obama. President Obama – you know, let me tell you why. You may not like the answer, but I'll tell you why. President Obama had a super PAC when he ran. President Obama took tens of millions of dollars from contributors. And President Obama was not at all influenced when he made the decision to pass and sign Dodd-Frank, the toughest regulations on Wall Street in many a year.
Comment: Sanders is accusing Clinton of being beholden to special interests. Clinton is saying that it is hypocritical to criticize her without also criticizing President Barack Obama, who also took campaign money from super PACs.
"Now Secretary Clinton has said Medicare for all will never happen. … Medicare for all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to big pharma and the private insurance industry instead of us".-- Activist Paul Song, April 13, 2016, referring to Democratic presidential contender former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY).
Comment: In addition to using "sexual deviant" name-calling, Song is using "special interests" rhetoric.