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Obama in Atlanta takes a dig at Trump's comments

8/1/2016, 3:06 p.m.
Speaking to the Disabled American Veterans convention in Atlanta on Aug. 1, President Obama fired back at Donald Trump’s comments ...
President Barack Obama at the Disabled American Veterans national convention in Atlanta on Aug. 1, 2016 said the families of fallen military service members "represent the very best of our country."

Speaking to the Disabled American Veterans national convention in Atlanta on Aug. 1, President Obama fired back at Donald Trump’s comments about the family of a Muslim-American soldier killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq.

Obama did not specifically mention the Republican presidential nominee’s controversial comments about Khizr and Ghazala Khan.

However, Obama said family members of Gold Star recipients “represent the very best of our country” who deserve the nation’s respect.

“They continue to inspire us every day and every moment,” Obama said. “They serve as a powerful reminder of the true strength of America.”

The President’s comments came as a firestorm of criticism swirled around Trump’s comments about the parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Baghdad in 2004.

Khizr Khan delivered an emotional speech at Democratic National Convention on July 28 saying Trump “sacrificed nothing and no one,” prompting Trump to speculate why Khizr's wife Ghazala hadn’t delivered her own remarks. She later said she was too pained over her son’s death to remain composed during remarks.

The backlash against Trump included rebukes from many Republicans including decorated Vietnam War veteran Sen. John McCain, R-AZ as well as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a group of Gold Star families.

Obama said families of troops killed in action deserve better.

“We have to do everything we can for those families. And honor them. And be humbled by them,” Obama said.

The campaigns of Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Trump are both trying to earn the votes of the nearly 21 million veterans in the U.S., and both candidates have vowed to overhaul the Veterans Administration which for decades has been criticized for poor service to veterans. President Obama said the U.S. has improved medical care for former military members but admitted that whoever succeeds him will have to work hard to restore public trust in the beleaguered VA.

After his appearance at the DAV convention. Obama attended a private fundraiser in Buckhead at the home of business executive Andy Prozes, the former CEO of LexisNexis Group, and Laura Heery, an architect and strategist. Heavyweight donors paid $33,400 for admission and a photo opportunity with the president.

Obama's Atlanta visit was one of the first since the Democratic Convention where he used his improved standing in the polls to raise campaign cash for Clinton. The latest Gallop Poll says 54 percent of Americans approve of Obama's job performance.

The president also spoke at a Democratic National Committee roundtable of elected officials before returning to Washington Monday afternoon.