President Obama joked about the 2016 presidential campaign at the beginning of his “State of the Union” address tonight, but near the end Obama lobbed a serious shot at Donald Trump.
Obama started his speech by promising it would be “a little shorter” than normal. “I know some of you are antsy to get back to Iowa,” Obama said, getting laughter and applause.
Four U.S. Senators are running for president in 2016. Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio were in the room tonight.
“I’ve been there,” said Obama, who won the 2008 Iowa Caucuses when he was a U.S. Senator from Illinois. “I’ll be shaking hands afterwards if you want some tips.”
Later in the speech, Obama didn’t mention Donald Trump by name, but Obama chided politicians who “insult Muslims.”
“That doesn’t make us safer…It’s just wrong,” Obama said. “It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. It betrays who we are as a country.”
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley delivered the Republican response to Obama’s speech and she also seemed to chide Trump. Haley urged Americans to “resist the siren call of the angriest voices” in the debate over immigration.
The president also seemed to strike at Ted Cruz during his speech. Cruz has promised to “carpet bomb” terrorists in the Middle East and make the sand “glow in the dark.” Obama suggested that “may work as a TV sound bite” but it “won’t work on the world stage.”