Obama takes apparent jab at voters: 'You get the politicians you deserve'

While former President Barack Obama waded back into the political realm on Tuesday, encouraging people to be more civically involved during an appearance in Italy -- he seemingly took a jab at voters and those who don't bother to vote, warning them, "you get the politicians you deserve."

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"People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don't work," said the former president at the Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan. "But as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve. If you don't vote and don't participate and don't pay attention, you get policies that don't reflect your interests."

Since leaving the White House in January, the 44th president has repeatedly called for citizens to be more active in the democratic process. During his first post-presidential public appearance at University of Chicago last month, Obama urged young leaders to get involved.

See what the Obama family has been up to since leaving the White House:

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ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama smiles during a conversation at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is making one of her first public speeches at the Orlando Conference since leaving the White House. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with youth leaders at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago to discuss strategies for community organization and civic engagement in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski
MUMBAI, INDIA - NOVEMBER 7, 2010: US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle wave as they board Air Force One to depart for New Delhi from Chattrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai on Sunday. President Barack Obama left the Indian city of Mumbai for New Delhi. (Photo by Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Malia Ann Obama seen out in Manhattan on April 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Malia Ann Obama is seen in Tribeca on March 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) The 44th President of The United States Barack Obama, poses backstage at The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 'Arthur Miller's The Price' on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
Former U.S. President Barack Obama sits on a boat during a kite surfing outing with British businessman Richard Branson during his holiday on Branson's Moskito island, in the British Virgin Islands, in a picture handed out by Virgin on February 7, 2017. Jack Brockway/Virgin Handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
THIS IMAGE IS BINNED Former U.S. President Barack Obama tries his hand at kite surfing during a holiday with British businessman Richard Branson on his island Moskito, in the British Virgin Islands, in a picture handed out by Virgin on February 7, 2017. Jack Brockway/Virgin Handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and British businessman Richard Branson sit on a boat during Obama's holiday on Branson's Moskito island, in the British Virgin Islands, in a picture handed out by Virgin on February 7, 2017. Jack Brockway/Virgin Handout via REUTERS FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08: Malia Obama is seen arriving at The Weinstein Company on February 8, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
UNSPCIFIED, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - FEBRUARY 1: In this undated image Former President Barack Obama takes a break from learning to kitesurf at Richard Branson's Necker Island retreat on February 1, 2017 in the British Virgin Islands. Former President Obama and his wife Michelle have been on an extended vacation since leaving office on January 20. (Photo by Jack Brockway/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Obama is seen walking in Soho on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Obama is seen walking in Soho on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Director Terry Kinney and The 44th President of The United States Barack Obama chat backstage at The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 'Arthur Miller's The Price' on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Malia Obama, The 44th President of The United States Barack Obama, Danny DeVito, Mark Ruffalo, Jessica Hecht and Tony Shalhoub pose backstage at The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of 'Arthur Miller's The Price' on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Ann Obama is seen out in Manhattan with friend on February 24, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Ann Obama is seen out in Manhattan with friend on February 24, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 24: Malia Obama seen out in Manhattan on February 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Michelle Obama leaves Upland restaurant on March 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Barack Obama leaves Upland restaurant on March 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama (L), and Robert A. Ivy, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute of Architects greet the audience during the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is making one of her first public speeches at the Orlando Conference since leaving the White House. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
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"The single most important thing I can do is help in any way I can prepare the next generation of leadership to take up the baton," said Obama.

In Italy on Tuesday the former president also talked about leadership. "The mark of a good leader is somebody who is able to empower other people," said Obama.

"So often, we think of leadership as somebody at the top who is ordering other people around, but it turns out, for me at least, what made me understand leadership was when I could see somebody who thought they didn't have a voice, thought they didn't have influence or didn't have power, and teach them how they could speak up on the things that were affecting their lives."

He began his post-presidential era by staying silent and out of the public eye, minus a water skiing adventure and few vacations. But the former president has become more and more politically active since President Donald Trump reached his first 100 days mark.

SEE MORE: Where is Michelle Obama? Barack Obama arrives in French Polynesia without his wife

On Sunday night Obama called on members of Congress to show "political courage" by opposing the repeal and replacement of his signature health care bill the Affordable Care Act as the American Health Care Act heads to the Senate.

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"I hope that current members of Congress recognize that it takes little courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential," Obama said.

"But it takes great courage to champion the vulnerable, the sick and the infirm" and those with "with no access to the corridors of power."

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