Patrick, who was invited to participate in the ABC town hall, directed this somewhat vague criticism at Obama Thursday night: “I’m concerned that police officers across the country — they know you support law enforcement of course, but do they really in their heart feel like you’re doing everything you can to protect their lives?”
True to form, the first words out of Patrick’s mouth Thursday night struck a divisive tone, with him telling Obama, “Like you, I have some people that really like me, and some that really don’t.” Patrick then cautioned Obama against being “too quick to condemn the police” after incidents like the police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota last week.
After flashing what’s become his standard “are you kidding me with this shit?” face, Obama offered a stern rebuttal, saying he’s been unequivocal in condemning acts of violence against police and rhetoric that demonizes law enforcement. Patrick’s response: “I know you have. I just want them (officers) to know in their heart.”
In his comments, Patrick also stressed to Obama that “words matter,” curious advice for a politician with a knack for saying terrible things in the wake of horrific tragedies – from tweeting “God Hears Our Prayers” following the mass shooting in San Bernadino to calling #BlackLivesMatter protesters who fled gunfire at a Dallas rally last week “hypocrites.”
See the full video of the exchange here: