“Character matters,” Obama pulls no punches in his Philly stump speech for Biden
In a speech that also pushed Pennsylvanians and all Americans to vote, the former president eviscerated his successor.
In an effort to stir up more voters in Joe Biden’s favor in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, former President Barack Obama was in Philadelphia on Oct. 21 for a stump speech in the waning days of the campaign.
While it was ultimately in favor of his former running mate, Obama also pulled no punches in a takedown of his successor, President Donald Trump.
Healthcare, Chinese bank accounts, tax cuts for billionaires, only paying $750 in taxes, the response to COVID-19, there was nothing off the table for the former president.
However, when the issues boil down, Obama’s message was simple about Trump’s three years and change in office — he hasn’t been a leader.
“He hasn’t shown any interest in doing the work, or helping anyone but himself and his friends,” said Obama in one of his opening lines.
Those “friends” are now heads of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Labor, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Education, and running Medicaid, he said, before asserting that every department had been gutted while the president kept the media focused on his next tweet or outlandish statement made at a rally.
It’s with those tweets and statements that Trump has built his pseudo-power. Obama pointed to the daily lies as the numbing agent the president uses to keep that power.
But as he also said: “Those actions have consequences.”
“Character matters,” said Obama.
And as the ultimate consequence for Trump’s actions in office, the former president urged voters in Philadelphia and beyond to “leave no doubt” on Nov. 3.
“We’ve got to turn out like never before,” said Obama.
He also tied that turnout to the lack of change seen in the government and the frustration around it from everyday Americans.
“We don’t know what that would look like,” said Obama.
In the last election, just over 60% of eligible voters participated in the country. That rate ranked second in overall turnout for U.S. presidential elections in the last 50 years according to USA Today.
The most turnout came in Obama’s first run for office in 2008 against John McCain, at 62%.
“Change happens slowly, it’s not overnight,” he said. “Voting is about making things better, not perfect.”
In his pitch for Biden, Obama didn’t make an effort to pitch the next four years as perfect, but they’ll be better than the past four, and that’s a step in the right direction.