President Obama Gets Political at John Lewis's Funeral

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Posted: Jul 30, 2020 2:50 PM
President Obama Gets Political at John Lewis's Funeral

Source: Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool

Former President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy during the funeral for the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) on Thursday in Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church. He was one of three former presidents to speak at his funeral, the others being Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

"He was a good, kind and gentle man, who believed in us, even when we don't believe in ourselves," Obama said of the civil rights hero.

But, he got political. As he was discussing Rep. Lewis's lifelong efforts to pursue civil rights, 44 began to speak out about the evil of voter ID laws.

"Even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting, by closing poll locations, and targeting minorities, and restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precisions even undermining the postal service in the run up to an election," Obama alleged. 

While he didn't name names, most people knew exactly who he was talking about.

Republicans would counter that argument by noting how unpredictable and unreliable mail-in ballots can be. In-person voting, they note, is much more efficient. But, Obama and many other Democrats argue that forcing people to the ballot box this fall will put them at risk of catching the coronavirus.

"It's going to be dependent on mail in ballots so people don't get sick," Obama said.

President Trump started a new controversy on Thursday morning when he tweeted that perhaps we need to delay the election. 

President Obama also repeated the liberal narrative that the federal agents President Trump sent to cities like Portland, OR are tear gassing people at will. 

"George Wallace may be gone," he said. "But we can witness our federal government sending federal agents to use tear gas against peaceful protestors.” 

As Attorney General William Barr explained at this week's House Judiciary Committee hearing, those agents were deployed to help quell the violent riots that have exploded in Portland, and to protect the federal courthouse. One "peaceful demonstrator" threw a Molotov cocktail at the building this week.

Rep. Lewis died on July 17 from pancreatic cancer. He had served in Congress since 1987. You can learn more about his historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama here.