President Barack Obama delivered the 2016 commencement address at Rutgers University on Sunday

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated May 16, 2016 11:40 AM
Credit: Steve Sands/FilmMagic

President Barack Obama didn’t name names during his 2016 Rutgers University commencement address, on Sunday, but the target of his harsh words about the state of American politics was clear: Donald Trump.

Speaking to the graduates in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Obama said, “Class of 2016, let me be as clear as I can be. In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue. It’s not cool to not know what you’re talking about.”

He continued, “That’s not keeping it real, or telling it like it is. That’s not challenging political correctness. That’s just not knowing what you’re talking about.”

Obama, 54, said, “When our leaders express a disdain for facts, when they’re not held accountable for repeating falsehoods and just making stuff up, when actual experts are dismissed as elitists, then we’ve got a problem.”

He also took aim at Trump’s plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, telling the audience, “the world is more interconnected than ever before, and it’s becoming more connected every day. Building walls won’t change that.”

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“Suggesting that we can build an endless wall along our borders, and blame our challenges on immigrants – that doesn’t just run counter to our history as the world’s melting pot; it contradicts the evidence that our growth and our innovation and our dynamism has always been spurred by our ability to attract strivers from every corner of the globe,” the President said. “That’s how we became America. Why would we want to stop it now?”

The President has previously spoken out against Trump, telling reporters in the White House press briefing room after the businessman clinched the GOP nomination, “I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job. This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show.”

Ending his Sunday speech, Obama challenged the Class of 2016, “Make sure the next 250 years are better than the last.”