Obama lashes out at Trump and 'radical' Republicans

Foellinger on Friday

Bongino also said Americans are sick and exhausted of being talked down to by "elitist goofballs" like Obama, and slammed a quote from former White House staffer Ben Rhodes' book, "The World As It Is", in which Obama apparently said he wondered if America was ready for his presidency.

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

Barack Obama has made a political appearance in California on behalf of Democratic congressional candidates he says have "decided to step up and bring out the best in our country".

Former President Barack Obama speaks as he campaigns in support of California congressional candidates, on September 8, 2018, in Anaheim, California.

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.

"You happen to be coming of age" amid backlash to progress, Obama told the students at University of IL at Urbana-Champaign.

"I have to say this to President Obama: if the Dems got in with their agenda in November of nearly 2 years ago, instead of having 4.2 up, i believe honestly we'd have 4.2 down", Trump said, referring to the U.S.'s economic growth.

"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".

Trump was dismissive of Obama's speech.

"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. "We've seen basic norms and principles that have served us well for decades increasingly violated", Obama said.

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The auditorium in Illinois was filled Friday with a mix of students and Illinois political figures, including Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin and Illinois Democratic gubernatorial nominee JB Pritzker. Obama said: "How hard can that be?"

Obama said his successor is a "symptom", not the cause of the tribal divisions existing in today's political environment.

"Some of you may think I'm exaggerating when I say this November's elections are more important than any I can remember in my lifetime", Obama said Friday. "It is apathy, it is indifference, it is us not doing what we are supposed to do".

But Republicans have been just as eager to welcome Obama back to the campaign trail, too, believing he will rally their base as much, if not more, than he rallies Democrats.

During his remarks, Obama also criticized Republicans in Congress who seem "utterly unwilling" to stand up to Trump and "safeguard the institutions that make our democracies work".

An Obama office official said before the speech that they could not say whether the former president would mention Trump directly in IL but added that "regardless of whether he mentions him by name, it will be very clear who he is talking about".

Former President Barack Obama, a day after delivering a stinging critique of President Donald Trump's time in office, had a stark warning for fired-up Democrats in California: This is not rock bottom.

Katie Hill, Obama's communications director, said Obama hopes to use his standing across the country to help elect Democrats.

The speech, which can be viewed live below, is taking place at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, and is expected to have many Democratic Senators and Congressmen in attendance, including Senator Dick Durbin (D) of IL.

Last month, Obama released a first round of endorsements - 81 candidates up and down the ballot - and there will be a second round of endorsements and additional campaign activity in advance of the midterms, according to his office. The speech will be a preview of the argument Obama will make this fall campaign season.

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