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Don Lemon Praises Obama’s Hopeful Message Amid Nationwide Protests: ‘Someone Came Out And Sounded Like a Leader of the Free World’

CNN’s Don Lemon lauded the “comfort and hope” offered in former Presdient Barack Obama’s town hall message and implicitly contrasted the uplifting rhetoric of the previous president with the current one: “Finally, someone came out and sounded like a leader of the free world.”

After Obama’s low-key address to an online town hall of his My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which both MSNBC and CNN carried live, Lemon discussed his thoughts about the comments with Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer. But right out of the gate, Lemon’s praise of Obama’s tone was wrapped in a stinging criticism of both President Donald Trump’s initial absence from public during the nationwide unrest and then the divisive, militarized “law and order” speech he gave on Monday night.

“I thought the vacuum in leadership that we had been talking about now for over a week when it comes to this partular story, I think he stepped in and filled that void just now,” Lemon said. “I was heartened to hear someone actually sound like a president, someone to actually sound like a leader, someone to actually offer comfort and hope to the American people. I had been longing and yearning for that as had tens of millions of Americans, since this all happened. Really, and not just for this story, for what’s happening here in this situation, but for what’s been happening in other situations as well. Finally, someone came out and sounded like a leader of the free world.”

“[Obama] reminded us that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a young man when he fought for change, how Malcolm X was a young man when he fought for change, Cesar Chavez, young man. The people who fought for LGBT rights, young people. The people who fought for women’s rights, young people. Many of them took to the streets in order to do it,” Lemon explained. “It was peaceful sometimes, other times those marches aren’t peaceful. But I think he has acknowledged, Wolf, everything that we have said here, everything I’ve said and everything that we have been saying here, this is different than the marches we have seen in recent history and the marches that we saw in the ’60s, similar in a little there are lots of people out there and they’re upset and taking to the street, and they’re challenging their leaders and their government is to step up and do better. But different in the kinds of people that we see, the diversity that we see of people and of young people.”

“The president, the former president of the United States acknowledged that today,” Lemon noted. “Which I also thought was very important is that he said people have been discussing, there’s been an issue about voting versus protest. This is not an either/or, this is a both/and. We should be encouraging young people not only to — all people, to stand up for what they believe in, to stand up for what they think is right, to get out on the streets and protest. Yes, like that sign you see now, it says Black Lives Matter, get out there. He says make your government uncomfortable, make the people who are in positions of power uncomfortable, that has to result in change. I thought that the president, the former president, hit if off — I keep calling him president because he’s the only one in this moment who is actually acting like a president and who’s not dividing the country. So I was happy to hear him come out and I hope the country now heeds to the words of this president.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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