US President Barack Obama has taken a swipe at the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump over his incendiary rhetoric on the campaign trail.
Speaking at a college graduation ceremony in Rutgers University in New Jersey, Obama decried “anti-intellectualism” in Trump’s campaign, saying, “Ignorance is not a virtue.”
Obama did not name the business mogul in his speech, but said, “The world is more interconnected than ever before and it is becoming more connected every day. Building walls won’t change things.”
The remarks were apparently in reference to the New York real estate developer’s last June comments where the Republican infuriated Mexico by saying that the country was sending “criminals” and “rapists” across the border and that he would force the neighboring government to pay for a giant wall to keep illegal migrants out.
“Suggesting that we can build an endless wall along our borders and blame our challenges on immigrants, that does not just run counter to our history as the world melting pot,” Obama said.
“It contradicts the evidence that our growth and our innovation and our dynamism has always been spurred by our ability to attract strivers from every corner of the globe.”
“In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue. It’s not cool to not know what you’re talking about,” added the US president. “That’s not challenging political correctness. That’s just not knowing what you’re talking about.”
Trump’s campaign has been marred by his disparaging remarks against minorities in the US. His comments include calling for a total ban on Muslims from coming to America and forced deportation of Mexican migrants.
Trump’s proposal has been condemned by Muslim and human rights groups as well as his Democratic rivals and many of his Republican presidential opponents who describe the proposal as divisive, counterproductive and contrary to American values.