Obama blasts Trump and Republicans, urges Democrats to vote

Obama calls midterm votes urgent in rebuke of Trump 'Our democracy depends on it'

NBC News

"If these candidates win, I'm absolutely confident that Washington will start working better!"

"Obama being on the campaign trail as a foil to president Trump only reminds Trump voters of the corrupt and failed political establishment that they were voting against when they voted for Trump in the first place", Andrew Surabian, a former White House official and adviser to Donald Trump Jr., said to USA TODAY Saturday.

He said stakes were high not just for Democrats but for all Americans, as "people feel scared" about a litany of issues: a troubled health care system, the high costs of education, a warming climate and more.

"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.

Former President Barack Obama used an appearance at the University of IL on Friday to vilify Donald Trump and the Republicans who control Congress, calling the GOP "radical" in using fear and division to hold power under the controversial president's leadership.

"Appealing to tribe, appealing to fear, pitting one group against another, telling people that order and security will be restored if it weren't for those who don't look like us or don't sound like us or don't pray like we do.that's an old playbook", Obama said.

Pence says Obama rolled out "the same exhausted arguments that he and liberals have made over the last eight years".

Obama delivered a speech Friday at the University of IL that included several broadsides at Trump while rarely mentioning his name.

"Don't tell me your vote doesn't matter", he said in IL.

"Your version of America is not the America we want", Pirro said on Saturday night in a message to Obama.

"The good news is in two months we have some chance to restore some sanity in our politics".

Earlier this week, an unnamed White House official penned a New York Times opinion piece, claiming the president's worst impulses were tempered by "adults in the room", who ensured he did not act to the detriment of the U.S. on issues such as foreign policy.

When that happens, he says, people become cynical and decide not to participate in the political process - creating a vacuum that lobbyists and special interests fill.

Said Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens: "In 2016, voters rejected President Obama's policies and his dismissiveness toward half the country". Trump also bashed Obama for trying to take credit for the US' recent economic success, marked by record low unemployment and modest wage growth.

That Illinois speech was a break from tradition - one where former commanders-in-chief don't criticize their successors - but Obama argued that Trump's presidency represented a time when everyone needed to stand up. In the coming week, Obama is likely to campaign in Ohio for Richard Cordray, a Democratic nominee for governor, and Ohio Democrats.

In an uncharacteristic move, Obama directly named Trump, saying the current president was a "symptom, not the cause" of broader ailments in the nation's politics.

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". He said the biggest threat to democracy isn't Trump but "indifference".

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