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Obama tells voters to step up or ‘things can get worse’

Obama tells voters to step up or ‘things can get worse’

Obama took the stage at the Anaheim Convention Center just one day after launching his return to the campaign train with a speech Friday at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, where he attacked President Donald Trump (and referred to himself, in classic Obama fashion, over 100 times).

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

Speaking about the Democrat campaign, Mr Obama said to loud cheers: "We're going to put on our marching shoes, we're going to start knocking on some doors, we're going to start making some calls".

The former Democratic president, following tradition, has been reluctant to publicly criticize Trump, to the frustration of some in his party. "He is a symptom, not the cause", he said.

The "good news" Obama said is "in two months we have a chance to restore some sanity in our politics". However, he stated the political moment was a pivotel one and that it required all American citizens to determine what they stood for.

"We're supposed to stand up to discrimination, and we're sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers", he said, a reference to Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.

"It's as old as time". That's not how our democracy's supposed to work.

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In his IL speech on Friday, Obama will revisit themes he has expounded on in the past, including that "America is at its best when our democracy is inclusive and our citizens are engaged", and that "this moment in our country is too perilous for Democratic voters to sit out", said spokeswoman Katie Hill. "Now if that doesn't get you out to vote for the midterms, nothing will", he said. "A politics of fear and resentment and retrenchment takes hold". "I don't mean to pretend I'm channeling Abraham Lincoln now, but that's not what he had in mind, I think, when he helped form the Republican Party". "The stakes really are higher". But he insisted that he believed the biggest threat to democracy was people sitting on the sidelines while others fill the airwaves and the ballots.

He later added: "This is not normal".

He was especially stern in his condemnation of Trump's pattern of pressuring law enforcement officials, including US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The president has repeatedly called on Mr Sessions to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and earlier this week blamed the Justice Department for indicting two incumbent Republican members of Congress, arguing the moves could jeopardise their seats.

"What happened to the Republican Party?" he asked rhetorically. "They're not doing us a service by actively promoting 90% of the insane stuff that's coming out of this White House and then saying don't worry we're preventing the other 10%".

Pence said Obama's criticism would draw a favourable contrast between Democrats and Republicans in the campaign.


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