President Barack Obama used his final United Nations address on Tuesday to condemn Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his brand of “crude populism.”
Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama essentially stumped for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who will carry his legacy for a third term, before world leaders during a 48-minute speech in New York.
Without naming Trump directly, Obama lashed out at the outsider’s candidacy while defending his own legacy.
“Today, a nation ringed by walls would only imprison itself,” he said.
Likely referring to Trump’s nationalist, populist campaign, and other international movements to resist globalism — such as Britain’s recent vote to exit the European Union — Obama said world leaders can not afford to “dismiss these visions.”
The president added that countries seeking to put their own interests first in the short term would “fail to deliver security or prosperity over the long term.”
“So the answer cannot be a simple rejection of global integration,” Obama said. “Instead, we must work together to make sure the benefits of such integration are broadly shared.”
He added: “We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration or we can retreat into a world sharply divided and ultimately in conflict along age-old lines of nation and tribe and race and religion. I want to suggest to you today that we must go forward and not back.”
With just 49 days until the Nov. 8 election, Obama has been stumping for Clinton.
The president has been critical of Trump’s pledge to put Americans first, which includes renegotiating international trade deals and securing the country’s borders.
Obama told the U.N. “trade wars” and isolationist policies “will make us poorer, collectively, and they are more likely to lead to conflict.”
In regards to fighting acts of radical Islamic terror, Obama argued building a “wall” will further provoke attacks on Americans.
“Until basic questions are answered about how communities coexist, the embers of extremism will continue to burn,” he said. “And the world is too small for us to simply be able to build a wall and prevent it from affecting our own societies.”
Obama also seemingly acknowledged the diminished influence of the United States during an attack on Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
“In a world that left the age of empire behind,” he said, “we see Russia attempting to recover lost glory through force.”
Tuesday was not the first time Obama has criticized Trump when speaking to other international leaders.
While attending a a Group of Seven economic summit in Japan in May, Obamasaid other leaders are “rattled” by Trump for “good reason.”
“Because a lot of the proposals he has made display either ignorance of world affairs, or a cavalier attitude, or an interest in getting tweets and headlines,” he said.
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