Former president Barack Obama said voters should be "rightly skeptical" of GOP "minority candidates" like Tim Scott and Nikki Haley who want everyone to "all get along."
"If a Republican who may even be sincere in saying ‘I want us all to live together’ doesn’t have a plan for how do we address crippling generational poverty ... we actually have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk," Obama said on a podcast with David Axelrod, senior political commentator at CNN and former strategist for Obama's campaigns. "If they’re not doing that, then I think people are rightly skeptical."
Obama added that "there’s a long history of African-American or other minority candidates within the Republican Party who will validate America and say, ‘Everything’s great, and we can make it.'"
Haley, former governor of South Carolina and the first Republican to jump in the 2024 race, responded to Obama's comments, saying he encouraged people to see themselves as "victims."
"Barack Obama set minorities back by singling them out as victims instead of empowering them. In America, hard work and personal responsibility matter. My parents didn’t raise me to think that I would forever be a victim. They raised me to know that I was responsible for my success," Haley told the New York Post.
Scott, a senator from South Carolina, similarly called out Obama for not using his power to help heal race relations.
"He missed a softball moving at slow speed with a big bat," Scott told radio host Mark Levin this week.
"You can’t miss this opportunity. America was hungry for bringing our country together, this coalition building where you can see Black kids and White kids and red ones and brown ones, as MLK spoke about, joining hands and singing with new meaning, ‘My country ‘tis of thee,'" Scott said.