Former President Barack Obama said that racism, hatred and “mommy issues” are holding the U.S. back, in a comment that some have interpreted as a dig at President Donald Trump, Newsweek reports.
Obama told a crowd in Chicago on Monday at his foundation’s second annual summit that they could bring upon a change in the world. “You literally can remake the world right now, because it badly needs remaking,” he said.
The 44th president believes that issues such as energy, agriculture and education could be easily addressed, but “the reason we don’t do it is because we are still confused, blind, shrouded with hate, anger, racism, mommy issues,” he said to the group that responded to his remarks with laughter.
Obama said that it’s crucial for the country to “invest” in its people, per NBC News.
“We are fraught with stuff, and so if that is the case, then the single most important thing we have to invest in is … people,” he said. “We have got to get people to figure out how they work together in a cooperative, thoughtful, constructive way.”
According to Newsweek, Trump has routinely compared women to his mother, something that he wrote about in his book The Art of the Deal in which he wrote that “part of the problem I’ve had with women has been in having to compare them to my incredible mother, Mary Trump, my mother is smart as hell.”
Obama and Trump have had a contentious relationship for years. Trump accused the nation’s first Black president of not being born in the U.S, something that former first lady Michelle Obama said she would never forgive him for because it put her and her family in danger.
“What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? “What if that person went looking for our girls? she wrote in her best-selling memoir Becoming. “Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him.”
Obama has not spoken to Trump since his inauguration in 2017 but criticized the former Apprentice host during the 2018 midterm elections, which saw the Democratic Party regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.