Friday, 16 November, 2018

Obama goes on offensive against Trump, GOP

Students waiting Obama to step into midterms, campaign for Democrats | The Sacramento Bee
Ebony Burgess | 11 September, 2018, 09:09

Former President Barack Obama said Friday his successor, President Donald Trump, is "the symptom, not the cause" of division and polarization in the U.S. "The stakes really are higher".

After spending much of his post-presidency on the political sidelines, Obama has several events scheduled in coming days where he'll campaign for Democrats.

"It should not be a partisan issue to say that we do not pressure the attorney general or the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents", he said, a reference to Trump's demands.

"These are extraordinary times, and they're risky times", Obama said during remarks at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, adding that the upcoming midterm elections offer "the chance to restore some semblance of sanity to our politics".

He says the country is at a pivotal moment in its history and "the consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire" than in prior elections.

He later added: "This is not normal".

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama is also stepping up her political involvement ahead of the November midterm election.

The remarks amounted to a stinging indictment of political life in the Trump era.

Said Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens: "In 2016, voters rejected President Obama's policies and his dismissiveness toward half the country".

Obama is seeking to rally support for Democrats as Americans prepare to head to the voting booth November 6 in elections that will see one-third of Senate seats up for grabs, as well as all seats in the House of Representatives.

At the University of Illinois, Obama will receive the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government, named for the longtime USA senator from Illinois.

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

But Obama pointed to his own role in bringing the USA out of one of the worst economic recessions it has experienced, saying "let's just remember when this recovery started".

Spain attacker showing support for his coach
Sergio Ramos and Real Madrid have got a ideal start to their La Liga campaign as the defending champions have garnered maximum points from three games.

Trump mocked Obama's speech before supporters in North Dakota.

"When we don't vote, when we take our basic rights and freedoms for granted, when we turn away and stop paying attention and stop engaging and stop believing and look for the newest diversion, the electronic versions of bread and circuses, then other voices fill the void", he said.

"I found he's very good for sleeping", Trump added.

"They're not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the insane stuff that's coming out of this White House, and then saying, 'Don't worry, we're preventing the other 10 percent, '" he said.

"What happened to the Republican Party?" he said. Obama asked. "Saying that Nazis are bad".

Obama campaigned for congressional Democrats from California on Saturday, a day after he excoriated Trump in a speech in IL.

Obama will hit the campaign trail on Saturday, appearing at a campaign event in southern California before heading to OH next week and to IL and Pennsylvania later in the month.

Obama heads to Cleveland on September 13 to campaign for Ohio Democratic gubernatorial nominee Richard Cordray.

Obama's campaign activity will continue through October and will include fundraising appearances, according to an Obama adviser.

"For three cycles President Obama fired up Republicans like nobody and I'm happy if he wants to do it again", he said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington.

Appealing directly to students in attendance, Obama urged young voters to temper their expectations.

Appearing in Southern California on Saturday, the former president took another swipe at his successor as he raised his profile campaigning for fellow Democrats to regain control of the House.

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