Obama tells voters to step up or 'things can get worse'

Scott Olson  Getty Images North America

Scott Olson Getty Images North America

Obama issued a scorching critique of President Donald Trump on Friday in a speech at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign. He totally does, and he is--his speech, when you listen to it, which I did, it's the same exhausted boring resist talking points that we heard", "He couldn't even say "President Trump.' He said 'Donald Trump" twice in the speech... would not refer to him as President Trump. "He is a symptom, not the cause". Trump also bashed Obama for trying to take credit for the US' recent economic success, marked by record low unemployment and modest wage growth. "A politics of fear and resentment and retrenchment takes hold".

The speech was delivered less than two months prior to the midterm elections, elections that could arguably change the course of the Trump presidency.

Trump appeared unshook by Obama's speech.

"I am totally sure these applicants will win", Obama said to a cheering group at the Anaheim Convention Center, encompassed by a pack of congressional hopefuls.

Citing the rise of the far-right and its trafficking in conspiracy theories - including the origins of his birthplace and a war on "science and facts" - Obama asked: "What happened to the Republican party?"

After his vitriolic condemnation of Trump, Obama offered a solution: Vote Democrat.

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He addressed the student body of the University of IL, stating that they happened to be coming of age at a time when the backlash against American progress was overwhelming, and that most of said backlash spawned from those with power and privilege who wanted to maintain their status through polarization and division.

The county's economy has evolved to more services and high-tech jobs that attract white-collar workers who are inclined to vote Democratic.

And Obama tells the crowd in Anaheim that "we're all in this together and that what makes America exceptional and unique is that from all around the world people. came here because they believed in a certain set of ideals". "And to have President Obama come out and tout his policies that resulted in less than 2 percent growth-which saw tax increases, Obamacare regulation, and a doubling of the national debt-I think was it was very disappointing".

During his speech, Obama highlighted the seven Democratic candidates now running in the region and in highly contested counties.

"The claim that everything will turn out OK because there are people inside the White House who secretly aren't following the president's orders, that is not a check", he said.

"We're supposed to stand up to discrimination", Mr Obama said.

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He also said that Trump is "capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years".

More problematically, Obama's attack on Trump really wasn't directed at the occupant of the Oval Office - it was yet another "tolerant" liberal broadside at those who put him there (even those of us who aren't entirely pleased with Trump's conduct in office). "How hard can it be", Obama questioned, "saying that Nazis are bad?"

He also made it very clear that anger and discontent in politics haven't started with Trump but said that he used it to his own advantage very well.

This post has been updated with additional comments from Obama's speech.

"There are people out there right now that are counting on us to make sure they still have health care after this election", Obama said.

The seven candidates Obama threw his support behind are from districts that will be crucial for the Democrats if they want to oust the Republicans in California. "Suddenly deficits do not matter", Obama said.

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