ABC aired a pre-taped town hall on race relations with President Obama Thursday night, featuring one particularly tense exchange with Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. In his question for Obama, the Texas official suggested the president’s rhetoric has caused America’s police officers to doubt whether their commander-in-chief has their back.
"I’m concerned that police officers across the country - they know you support law enforcement of course, but do they really in their heart feel like you’re doing everything you can to protect their lives?" Patrick asked on Thursday.
He then offered the president a piece of advice: “Consider being careful when there is an incident of not being too quick to condemn the police without due process and until the facts are known.”
Obama was visibly offended by Patrick’s pointed question. He responded by insisting he has defended the men and women in uniform every chance he can get.
"I have been unequivocal in condemning any rhetoric directed at police officers," Obama responded. "So I think, Lt. Gov., you’d have to find … any message that did not include a very strong support for law enforcement in all my utterances dating back to Ferguson because I rely on law enforcement to protect me and my family, just like everybody else does."
Patrick isn’t Obama’s only critic, however. Many people, media anchors included, were surprised that the president decided to infuse politics into his speech at the Dallas memorial last week as the victims’ families were mourning. He applauded police for their bravery, yet followed it up by suggesting racism does exist within their ranks.
Considering these remarks, Patrick's question was a justifiable one.
Watch the entire exchange, via Rare Media, below: