"I'm not the only one in this room who may be more than a little dismayed about what's happening on the campaign trail lately," Obama said in his remarks at the annual bipartisan St Patrick's Day gathering in Capitol Hill.
    
In a veiled reference to Trump, Obama condemned the "vulgar and divisive" rhetoric in the polls campaign and criticised the Republican leadership for keeping quite.
    
"We have heard vulgar and divisive rhetoric aimed at women and minorities - at Americans who don't look like 'us', or pray like 'us' or vote like we do. We've seen misguided attempts to shut down that speech, however, offensive it may be. We live in a country where free speech is one of the most important rights that we hold," Obama said.
    
"In response to those attempts, we've seen actual violence, and we've heard silence from too many of our leaders," Obama said referring to the violence at Trump's rally in Chicago and the muted response from the Republican establishment.
    
Obama's remarks assume significance as they were made in the presence of top Republican leadership, including the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Paul Ryan.
    
"Speaker Ryan, I appreciated the words on this topic that you shared with us this morning. But too often we've accepted this as somehow the new normal," said the US President, who in the past has stated that Trump is unlikely to be elected as the President of the United States.

 

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