Obama issues scathing critique of Trump, 'politics of fear'

Foellinger on Friday

Obama has largely stayed out of the everyday political fray, but his speech was the first of a series he is expected during the midterms.

"The status quo pushes back", he said. When most Republican elites who are skeptical of Trump use the word "normal", they have in mind the policy agenda supported by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. The alternative of sitting on the sidelines given all of these factors, he explained, was simply not an option.

Obama also spent a sizable portion of his remarks criticizing Republicans in Congress, saying "the politics of resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican party" over the last few decades and argued that the policies GOP leaders are pursuing aren't conservative.

The ex-president has kept a low profile since he left office in 2017 until now. He asked what had happened to the Republican Party.

"We're going to take a look at what he had, what he gave, what he's talking about also where he is right now", Trump reporters on Air Force One on his way to a North Dakota campaign clambake.

In his speech, Obama said Trump was the "symptom, not the cause" of the current political situation.

"It did not start with Donald Trump", Obama said.

"I'm here today because this is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us as citizens of the United States need to determine just who it is that we are", Obama said.

This post has been updated with additional comments from Obama's speech.

Obama's campaign activity will continue through October and will include fundraising appearances, according to an Obama adviser. We're supposed to stand up to discrimination.

"Now, some of you may think I am exaggerating when I say this election is more important than any I can remember in my lifetime", the Democrat said. He will spend this Saturday in California stumping for seven congressional candidates at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event and will head to OH next week to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray.

Obama is also expected to campaign in IL and Pennsylvania later this month and headline a fundraiser for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee in New York City, which is looking to reverse gerrymandering that has helped Republicans in some congressional districts.

Obama's involvement in the midterm campaign carries risks for Democrats.

"There is only one check on abuses of power, and that's you and your vote".

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