Obama Slams Donald Trump Publicly For First Time

Obama Denounced President Trump in Speech, Warns of 'Pivotal Moment'

The Illinois speech, in which Obama referred to the "state of our democracy", was created to deliver a message for Democrats for the coming midterm elections. The status quo pushes back.

Obama took Trump to task by saying he's played on voters' fears and crafted divisive policies.

"Obama will preview arguments he'll make this fall, specifically that Americans must not fall victim to our own apathy by refusing to do the most fundamental thing demanded of us as citizens: vote".

It has always been a tradition of ex-presidents, following the example of George Washington, to leave office for a quiet retirement in the background of public life.

"What happened to the Republican party?". According to Obama, his administration moved the chains of progress forward, and President Trump represents the backlash against that progress.

Appearing on Fox News after Obama's speech, Mercedes Schlapp (White House senior advisor for strategic communications) claimed that Obama was falsely taking credit for Trump's economic accomplishments.

In many ways, Obama spoke beyond Trump - calling him the "symptom not the cause" of a broader crisis in American democracy - indicting the Republican Party for what he described as timidity in failing to reject the politics of conspiracy theories and resentments. "I mention this just so when you hear how great the economy is doing right now, let's just remember when this recovery started".

"The biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism", Obama said.

Trump, at a rally later in the day, said he had been asked what he thought of Obama's speech. Republicans also continue to use Obama's image in campaign ads, like a special House election in Pennsylvania and the West Virginia Senate contest, where the Republican candidate, Patrick Morrisey, often boasts of his efforts to stop Obama policies with lawsuits.

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

"When you hear how great the economy's doing right now, let's just remember when this recovery started", Obama said at the University of IL. Obama's latest foray into politics is likely to ignite Republicans, including Trump. "We understand that we energize the other side like very few people do, so we have to be thoughtful about where we campaign".

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.

'It shouldn't be Democratic or Republican to say we don't target groups of people on how they look like.

Next week, Obama plans to campaign in Ohio for Richard Cordray, the Democratic nominee for governor, and Ohio Democrats.

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

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