Appearing on CBS, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice called for President Trump to tweet less and “think about the historical context before you say something.”
I would ask the president to first and foremost speak in the language of unity, the language of empathy. Not everyone is going to agree with any president, with this president, but you have to speak to every American, not just to those who might agree with you. And you have to speak about the deep wounds that we have and that we’re going to overcome them. I’ve heard the president talk about the resilience of Americans.
I’d love to hear more of that. Twitter and tweeting are- are not great ways for complex thoughts, for complex messages. When the president speaks, it needs to be from a place of- of thoughtfulness, from a place of having really honed the message so that it reaches all Americans. And by the way, not just the president. I would love to hear this from our leaders in Congress on both sides of the aisle. I would love to hear from mayors and from governors and from others. Leaders at this particular point need to do everything that they can to overcome, not intensify our divisions.
He has mourned George Floyd’s death but he’s used language like “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” He said his supporters love “the black people.” When you hear phrases like that, how does that land with you? Do you just dismiss it because it’s President Trump?
Well, no. The president, obviously, the shooting and looting, he said that he didn’t know that historical context. And so I would say think about the historical context before you say something, because it is a deep wound. And the presidency is special in that regard.
People look to the Oval Office as we’ve looked to the Oval Office throughout our history for- for messages, for signals. And as I said, the president has used some language that I’m really very, very much admire, like the resilience of the American people.
Just be careful about those messages. I’m not advising the president, but if I were, I would say let’s put tweeting aside for a little bit and- and talk to us, have a conversation with us. And I think we need that. And I think he can do it.