“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens,” Obama said at the Economic Club of Chicago on Tuesday.
“Now, presume there was a ballroom here in Vienna in the late 1920s or ’30s that looked and seemed as if it, filled with the music and art and literature that was emerging, would continue into perpetuity. And then 60 million people died. An entire world was plunged into chaos,” Obama said. “So you got to pay attention – and vote.”
The former president also defended the right to a free press.
“During my presidency, the press often drove me nuts,” he said. “There were times where I thought reporters were ill-informed. There were times where they didn’t actually get the story right. But what I understood was that principle of the free press was vital, and that, as President, part of my job was to make sure that that was maintained.”
Since leaving office, Obama has offered veiled criticism of his successor, though he has not mentioned Donald Trump by name. However, Obama’s latest comments clearly another example of subtle jabs at the current commander-in-chief, considering Trump’s constant attacks on the news media.