Obama rips Trump, GOP in 'state of our democracy' speech

Leroy Wright
September 7, 2018

"You need to vote because our democracy depends upon it", Obama told students as he accepted an ethics award.

While delivering a speech at the University of IL in Urbana-Champaign, Obama called out President Trump by name for the first time.

The hourlong speech marked Obama's return to the political stage and was meant to rally Democrats ahead of November's midterm elections, which he framed as crucial for the future of the American democracy.

Former President Barack Obama speaks at the memorial service of Senator John McCain at National Cathedral in Washington, Sept. 1, 2018.

Obama's office announced his first round of endorsements earlier this year and the official said his second round will be released in coming weeks. They aren't accountable."They're not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 per cent of the insane stuff that's coming out of this White House and then saying, 'Don't worry, we're preventing the other 10 per cent.' That's not how things are supposed to work. He is a symptom, not a cause". "The politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party".

Obama was clearly exasperated by what he's seen in government since he left office in January 2017.

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.

Rory McIlroy goes on epic birdie streak at the BMW Championship
However, an iron into the 556-yard par-five 16th that stopped five feet from the hole was the highlight. When he was 9-under with four holes left - the last one a par 5 - he started thinking about breaking 60.

But on Friday, Obama offered his most pointed indictment of the political climate that has formed under the watch of Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.

"You happen to be coming of age during one of those moments", he told the college body. How hard can it be to say that Nazis are bad?' He added, America is supposed to "stand up to bullies, not follow them".

"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".

The entire speech can be viewed below, live at Noon EST. A top focus of his efforts will be helping Democrats retake the House, which he will kick off on Saturday with a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally in Orange County, Calif., for the seven Democrats running therein Republican-held districts Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

While the former president will be visible throughout the general election, the adviser said that Obama will not be a daily presence on the campaign trail.

Obama's remarks come as the midterm election enters full swing.

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