First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Obama makes his most forceful case yet against Trump
Although he didn't mention Donald Trump by name, President Obama used his commencement address at Rutgers University on Sunday to make his most forceful case yet against the Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee. Consider:
- Obama took on the premise of Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan:"When you hear someone longing for the 'good old days," take it with a grain of salt... [B]y almost every measure, America is better, and the world is better, than it was 50 years ago, or 30 years ago, or even eight years ago."
- He slammed Trump's call for a border wall: "The world is more interconnected than ever before, and it's becoming more connected every day. Building walls won't change that."
- He criticized the presumptive GOP nominee's Muslim ban: "Isolating or disparaging Muslims … that is not just a betrayal of our values; that's not just a betrayal of who we are; it would alienate the very communities at home and abroad who are our most important partners in the fight against violent extremism."
- He ripped into Trump's command of the facts: "Ignorance is not a virtue. It's not cool to not know what you're talking about. That's not keeping it real, or telling it like it is."
- And he highlighted Trump's lack of political experience in politics: "You know, it's interesting that if we get sick, we actually want to make sure the doctors have gone to medical school, they know what they're talking about… And yet, in our public lives, we certainly think, 'I don't want somebody who's done it before.'"
Obama hasn't hit the campaign trail yet; he won't be able to do so until the Democratic presidential race has concluded. But you can already see how he's gearing up for the fight ahead.