Skip to Content

President Obama Targets Donald Trump in Rutgers Graduation Speech

President Obama Speaks At Rutgers University 2016 Commencement - New JerseyPresident Obama Speaks At Rutgers University 2016 Commencement - New Jersey
President Barack Obama gives the Commencement address during the 250th Anniversary Commencement of Rutgers University held on May 15, 2016. Photograph by Dennis Van Tine — Sipa USA/ AP

President Barack Obama on Sunday indirectly slammed Donald Trump during his commencement address at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

The commander-in-chief did not specifically name the presumptive Republican nominee while speaking before the graduating class, but he did mention many of the mogul’s controversial ideas, including temporarilybanning Muslims from entering the U.S. and building a wall between America and Mexico.

“Let me be as clear as I can be: In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue,” Obama said, according to CBS News. “It’s not cool to not know what you’re talking about. That’s not keeping it real or telling it like it is. That’s not challenging political correctness. That’s just not knowing what you’re talking about. And yet we’ve become confused about this.”

“Isolating or disparaging Muslims, suggesting they should be treated differently when entering this country — that is not just a betrayal of our values, that’s not just a betrayal of who we are, it would alienate the very communities at home and abroad that are our most important partners in the fight against violent extremism,” he added.

The President also spoke about the important qualities that the more than 17,000 graduates before him should look for in policy-makers, including “facts, evidence, reason, logic.” He noted the dangers of keeping the U.S. isolated from the rest of the globe. “The world is more interconnected than ever before and it’s becoming more connected every day,” Obama added. “Building walls won’t change that.”

This article was originally published on