‘Trump is a symptom, not the cause’

12 September, 2018, 00:09 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Fell asleep’ Trump unimpressed as Obama makes 1st public attack on his policies in midterm speech

Noting Trump's efforts to improve relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin while USA intelligence has accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, Obama asked, "What happened to the Republican Party?"

Former President Barack Obama makes a campaign stop at Caffe Paradiso in Urbana, Ill., Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, where he did a campaign stop with Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, left, following his speech at the University of Illinois.

The speech is Obama's first big step into the campaign for the midterm elections.

"You can not sit back and wait for a savior", Obama said.

Obama emphasized to the students the "stakes really are higher" regarding this year's midterms. 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".

Obama, who is going on the campaign trail Saturday in California, touted the crop of Democratic candidates running for office in November and highlighted women who have stepped up to run on the Democratic side.

Speaking at the University of IL where he accepted an award for ethics in government, Obama foreshadowed the themes he is expected to take to the campaign trail in the coming weeks while stumping for Democrats before the November midterm elections.

Trump acknowledged that Obama was "trying to take credit" for the economic boom that the United States was experiencing after he got elected.


"Some of you may think I am exaggerating when I say this election is more important than any I can remember in my lifetime", Obama said in a speech at the University of IL.

He also pointed out, in reaction to Obama's invocation of Fox News, that even though the former president never called the network the enemy of the people, the targeting of reporter James Rosen.

"I wish he would come more often because he reminds Republicans of eight years of misery", said Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel, who lives in Orange County. "Suddenly deficits do not matter", Obama said.

Trump, speaking at an event in North Dakota, reacted to Obama's speech by saying, "I'm sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep". Its central organising principle in foreign policy was the fight against communism and now they're cosying up to the former head of the KGB, actively blocking legislation that would defend our elections from Russian attack.

Mr Obama also hit out at the current face of the Republican Party, calling it a "radical" organisation which has embraced conspiracy theories, attacked voting rights and rejected climate change.

Obama was referring to Trump's failure to quickly and directly condemn neo-Nazis who marched past year in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While Obama has in the past blasted Trump and his policies, this was the first speech in which he used his successor's name.

While Obama is back in the state he once represented in the Senate to accept the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government from the university, a top Obama adviser tells CNN the former president has always been eyeing the forum as the best place to deliver his opening salvo in the midterms.

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.

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