Former President Barack Obama hit the campaign trail for the first time on Wednesday night, delivering his most blistering attack on President Donald Trump yet with 13 days to go until Election Day.
Obama spoke for 30 minutes at a drive-in rally outside Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia as he slammed his successor’s first four years in office.
“I never thought Donald Trump would embrace my vision or continue my polices, but I did hope for the sake of the country, that he might show some interest in taking the job seriously,” Obama said. “But it hasn’t happened. He hasn’t showed any interest in doing the work or helping anybody but himself and his friends.”
The former President hit out at Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, an issue that is at the top of key issues for the majority of Americans in this election season.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump said there is not much he would change about how his administration handled the virus.
“Really?” Obama asked. “Not much? Nothing you can think of that could have helped some people keep their loved ones alive?”
Obama touched on a variety of subjects that will likely anger Mr. Trump, including taking a jab at his TV ratings, something Trump holds dear to his heart.
“By the way, his TV ratings are down,” Obama said. “So you know that upsets him, but the thing is, this is not a reality show. This is reality. And the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously.”
Obama repeatedly brought up several scandals Mr. Trump has been involved in over the past four years. Everything from The Atlantic story that alleges Trump put down fallen soldiers, refusing to denounce QAnon, and the recent story of him owning a bank account in China.
“How is that possible? A secret Chinese bank account. Listen, can you imagine if I had had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for re-election?” Obama said. “You think Fox News might have been a little concerned about that? They would have called me Beijing Barry.”
Obama spoke highly of Biden, saying he would treat others with respect and his empathy shows why he is loved by so many across the country.
“He and I came from different places. We came from different generations. But I came to admire Joe as a man who has learned early on to treat everybody he meets with dignity and respect,” Obama said. “And that empathy, that decency, that belief that everybody counts — that’s who Joe is. That’s who he’ll be. And I can tell you the presidency doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are. And Joe has shown himself to be a friend of working people.”
In a state that is critical to Biden’s win, the former President made sure to highlight the importance of voting and voting early.
“Philadelphia, we got 13 days — 13 days until the most important election of our lifetimes,” Obama said. “And you don’t have to wait for Nov. 3 to cast your ballot. What we do these next 13 days will matter for decades to come.”