Obama scorches Trump in return to campaign trail
URBANA, Ill. — Former President Barack Obama has issued a scorching critique of his successor, accusing President Donald Trump of “capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.”
Obama spoke at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign less than two months before midterm elections that could determine the course of Trump’s presidency. The remarks amounted to a stinging indictment of political life in the Trump era.
Obama said, “Telling people that order and security will be restored if it weren’t for those who don’t look like us or don’t sound like us or don’t pray like we do — that’s an old playbook.”
He called on “people of good will from across the political spectrum” to “call out the bigots and the fear-mongers.”
Trump, meanwhile, claimed he fell asleep watching Obama’s speech about the current political climate.
Trump said: “I’m sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep.” He adds, “I found he’s very good for sleeping.”
Obama has urged an audience of college students to not just vote in the midterm elections, but to lead the fight against Trump and his allies.
Obama said in his speech that “you cannot sit back and wait for a savior.” He said the biggest threat to democracy isn’t Trump but “indifference.”
The speech was a preview of the arguments Obama is expected to make as he starts campaigning for Democrats on the ballot this fall. He said people have asked him what he’s going to do for the November election. Obama told the students: “The question is: ‘What are you going to do?'”
Obama said: “If you thought elections don’t matter, I hope these past two years have corrected that impression.”
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