Former President Barack Obama derided the deployment of thousands of active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border as a “political stunt” by the Trump administration, as Obama rallied for Florida Democrats and found himself repeatedly heckled by protesters on Friday afternoon.
“They’re telling you the existential threat to America is a bunch of poor refugees a thousand miles away,” Obama said of Republicans, referencing the caravan of an estimated 4,000 Central American migrants headed toward the United States.
“They’re even taking our brave troops away from their families for a political stunt at the border,” Obama added. “The men and women of our military deserve better than that. So they’re just constant fear mongering to distract from the record.”
Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis emphatically denied that the deployment is part of a political stunt ahead of next week’s midterm elections. “We don’t do stunts in this department. Thank you,” Mattis said.
Obama’s comments on the caravan came as he was heckled multiple times during a rally in Miami on Friday afternoon with Democrats ahead of next week’s midterm elections.
At one point, Obama addressed a protester and said, “Sir, don’t curse in front of kids. Come on.”
Obama flew to Miami to campaign for incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. Later Friday, Obama is scheduled to travel to Atlanta to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and other Democrats.