President Obama Wants Republican Candidates to Condemn Violence at Rallies

PHOTO: President Barack Obama speaks to a crowd during a campaign stop at Kirkwood Community College on July 10, 2012 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. PlayDavid Greedy/Getty Images
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President Obama took Republicans to task for creating an environment at political rallies and debates that is unsafe for children

“This is not about political correctness,” he said at a DNC fundraiser in Dallas on Saturday. “It's about not having to explain to our kids why our politics sounds like a schoolyard fight. We shouldn’t be afraid to take them to rallies or let them watch debates.”

Obama didn’t directly address a Donald Trump rally in his hometown of Chicago that was canceled Friday over safety concerns or mention Trump directly during his remarks calling for civility in the campaign. The president did say leaders have a responsibility to “speak out against violence.”

“Those who aspire to be our leaders should be trying to bring us together and not turning us against one another -- to speak out against violence and reject efforts to spread fear or turn us against one another,” Obama said. “If they refuse to do that, they don’t deserve our support. The best leaders, the leaders who are worthy of our votes, remind us that even in a country as big and diverse and inclusive as ours, what we’ve got in common is far more important than what divides any of us.”

Obama then recalled his own rallies during the 2008 campaign, joking that “we had some pretty big rallies."

“Americans were frustrated back then, too,” the president recalled. “Some of you who went to those rallies -- there wasn’t a spirit of anger or meanness. People were hopeful. People were looking about how do we bring folks together.”