Speaking in Milan, President Obama claimed voters had a tendency to blame politicians for their problems without considering who they had voted for.
The American delivered the speech at the Global Food Innovation Summit as part of his highly lucrative post-presidential speaking tour.
Without a mention of Donald Trump, President Obama told the sold-out audience: “People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don’t work, but as I always tell people, ‘You get the politicians you deserve’.
“And if you don’t vote, you don’t participate, and you don’t pay attention, you will get policies that don’t reflect your interest.”
Matteo Renzi revealed what was behind Barack Obama's comments in Italy
People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don’t work
The former president has largely refrained from commenting on President Trump but has previously made it clear through comments during President Trump’s White House campaign, he significantly disagrees with his policy approach.
Mr Renzi and President Obama formed a close bond while they both held office, with the pair meeting privately before he gave the American gave his summit address.
Appearing on Italian programme L’Arena, Mr Renzi was asked what President Obama meant when he made the comments.
The former Italian prime minister responded: “In the coming years, Obama will try to educate new generations.
“He asked for help. He also asked for a hand to us, Italy.”
Marco Gualtieri, founder and organiser of the Food Summit, hinted President Obama could have been referring to his global fight against populism.
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Mr Gualtieri said: “Obama and Renzi have agreed that young people are going to fight populists that are worrying the world today. That is the message that came out of this evening.”
President Obama reportedly pocketed a staggering £2.5million (€3m) for delivering the speech in Milan.
The former President has already earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for private speeches since leaving the White House.
After flying into Italy’s business capital, President Obama brought the city to a standstill with a convoy of 14 cars, a helicopter and a 300-strong police escort, before his entourage reportedly took over two floors of the extravagant Park Hyatt hotel, which can cot up to £7,100 a night.