Rookie Democratic Rep. IIhan Omar, fresh off igniting an intra-party uproar with comments widely viewed as anti-Semitic, took a swipe at former President Barack Obama, saying in an explosive interview the 44th president’s message of “hope and change” was a “mirage” and blasting his administration’s drone and border detention policies.
“Recalling the ‘caging of kids’ at the U.S.-Mexico border and the ‘droning of countries around the world’ on Obama’s watch,” Omar charged that Obama “operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor,” the piece reads.
Omar is then quoted as saying: “We can’t be only upset with Trump… His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was.
“And that’s not what we should be looking for anymore. We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
The comments came after the passage Thursday of a broad anti-bigotry resolution prompted by Omar’s prior comments about Israel. The resolution and the drama surrounding its passage exposed chasms in the Democratic caucus regarding Israel and who marked a coup of sorts for a tight-knit band of House freshmen– in a matter of hours – were able to shift the spotlight away from Omar’s allegedly anti-Semitic remarks and refocus on issues like Islamophobia and pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.
“The week was supposed to start off with a rebuke of Omar’s anti-Semitic comments and it ended up turning into a long list of other hateful actions,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told Fox News on Friday, saying the final product “fell short of addressing the real problem.”
But the broadside delivered at Obama is highly unusual for any Democrat, especially one who has been in the House for two months and has already ticked off party elders with her outspokenness.