Talk-show host Tavis Smiley was sharply critical of President Barack Obama’s comments on the case involving Trayvon Martin on Friday, theorizing Obama was “pushed to the podium” and that his comments were as “weak as pre-sweetened Kool Aid.”
“I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up,” Smiley said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“But this town has been spinning a story that’s not altogether true. He did not walk to the podium for an impromptu address to the nation. He was pushed to that podium. A week of protest outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House pushed him to that podium. So I’m glad he finally arrived.”
But Smiley said that Obama didn’t do enough to spell out a clear future direction for race relations in the U.S., saying Obama was “leading from behind” on the issue.
“But when he left the podium, he still had not answered the most important question, that Keynesian question, where do we go from here?” Smiley said. “That question this morning remains unanswered, at least from the perspective of the president. And the bottom line is this is not Libya, this is America. On this issue, you cannot lead from behind.”
Obama seemed to surprise even the White House press corps when he showed up in the briefing room on Friday, and many thought it was one of the more important addresses he has given to the nation.
Here’s the clip, via NBC:
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