Former President Barack Obama returned to the election campaign on Wednesday with a violent attack on Donald Trump less than two weeks after the Republican president’s election day showdown with Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Speaking at a rally in Philadelphia on behalf of Biden, his former vice president and Democratic running mate Kamala Harris, Obama offered his fiercest criticism of his successor. He took aim at Trump’s divisive rhetoric, his record in the Oval Office, his habit of retweeting conspiracy theories, and his banking deals.
The drive-in took place in the parking lot of Citizens Bank Park, the ballpark in Philadelphia, the city skyline visible in the distance. With nearly 280 vehicles scattered across the lot, it was the largest event of its kind that the Biden campaign has organized during the pandemic.
Here, we take a look at five of Obama’s most memorable passages.
Obama, referring to recent New York Times reports on Trump’s finances that revealed that he had paid $ 750 in personal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, and that he maintained a bank account in China while overseeing US foreign policy, He said:
“Can you imagine if I had a secret account in a Chinese bank when I ran for reelection? Do you think Fox News could have cared a bit about that? They would have called me ‘Beijing Barry’. “
Trump, of course, has long been known for giving his own nicknames to many of his political and personal adversaries.
“With Joe and Kamala at the helm, you won’t have to think about the crazy things they said every day,” Obama said, in apparent reference to Trump’s social media habits. And that is worth a lot. You won’t have to argue about them every day. It just won’t be that exhausting. “
Obama unleashed a strong criticism of Trump’s management of the country and his personal behavior.
“I understand that this president wants all the credit for the economy that he inherited and zero blame for the pandemic that he ignored,” Obama said. “But you know what? Work doesn’t work that way. Tweeting on TV doesn’t fix things. Inventing things doesn’t improve people’s lives. You have to have a plan.”
Citing the more than 220,000 Americans who have died from the new coronavirus, Obama, who remains one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party, criticized Trump for his handling of the pandemic. He also noted that the president himself had been a victim of the virus.
“Donald Trump is not going to suddenly protect us all,” he said. “You can’t even take the basic steps to protect yourself.”
This is not a reality show. This is reality, ”Obama said in a nod to Trump’s past as a reality TV host. “And the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him showing that he is incapable of taking work seriously.”
By comparison, Obama added, Biden “is not going to screw up the tests. You’re not calling scientists idiots.
“He’s not going to have a super broadcaster event at the White House,” Obama said, referring to the infamous White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The event saw many of those present without masks, and many later tested positive for the virus.
4. Affordable Care Act
In his speech outside Lincoln Field, Obama took aim at the Trump administration’s efforts to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act, calling it “disgraceful.”
“The idea of taking care of people’s health at the same time that people need it most, what is the logic of that?” I ask. “There is no logic.”
“I ask you to remember what this country can be,” he said, “when we treat each other with respect and dignity.”
With a Reuters / Ipsos poll showing Biden just 4 percentage points ahead in Pennsylvania, Obama warned Democrats against complacency. His appearance in a state that Trump won in 2016 highlighted the importance of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes.
“We have to go out like never before,” he said. “We cannot leave any doubt in this election,” Obama said, adding that Trump has suggested that he will not accept the result of the vote.
“I don’t care about the polls. Last time there were a lot of polls and it didn’t work out. . . . Not this time. Not in this election. “
Americans are voting early at a record pace this year, with more than 42 million ballots cast by mail and in person ahead of Election Day Nov. 3 over coronavirus concerns and to ensure their votes are counted .
Early voting so far represents about 30% of the total votes cast in 2016, according to the University of Florida Elections Project in the United States.
However, Obama’s appearance in Philadelphia also served as a reminder that he was unable to help hand over the state to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.
On the final day of that campaign, the two came together in town for a celebratory mega-rally with Bruce Springsteen in a state that Obama had comfortably run in 2008 and 2012.
The next day, Trump was victorious on his way to the White House.