Pence calls Obama's criticism of Trump 'very disappointing'
11 September, 2018, 05:13 | Author: Diane Mills
His appearance - one day after a strongly worded critique of Mr Trump at University of IL at Urbana-Champaign - touched on themes of retirement security, climate change and education.
In a wide-ranging speech punctuated by frequent applause, Obama criticized the divisive politics of the era, decrying Trump's attacks on the media and the judiciary, his eagerness to work with Russian Federation while neglecting traditional alliances.
His comments came during a speech at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, where he accepted an ethics in government award.
Calling out the president by name, Obama said Trump was a "symptom, not the cause" of broader ailments in the nation's politics.
"It did not start with Donald Trump", he told the college students Friday.
Obama told an audience of more than a thousand students at the University of IL his successor is "just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years".
Traditionally, both parties see a large drop-off in turnout in non-presidential election years. But he said the political moment required a pushback and called for better discourse. "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", he said. "It's as old as time. A politics of fear and resentment and retrenchment takes hold". Speaking to supporters at a fundraiser in Fargo, North Dakota, he dismissed Obama's speech. "I found he's very good - very good for sleeping", he said.
In an unusually blistering attack on his successor, Obama said Americans were living in unsafe times and accused Republicans of threatening democracy, dividing the country, undermining global alliances and cosying up to Russian Federation. "The stakes really are higher". But he insisted that he believed the biggest threat to democracy was people sitting on the sidelines while others fill the airwaves and the ballots.
"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", Obama said. I'm not making that up.
Obama left office with a 57 percent approval rating, and like most presidents, his standing has only improved since departing the West Wing. Obama reminded the audience that the economic recovery began during his administration and defended his handling of the 2008 economic collapse. She is urging Americans to participate in a week of action, september 22 through 29, to get people registered to vote. "It is the enemy of the American people", Trump tweeted a month after taking office past year. "It is us not doing what we're supposed to do", he said. "And we're sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. Saying that Nazis are bad?"
The speech was a preview of the argument that Obama is likely to make throughout the fall.
Former President Barack Obama speaks as he campaigns in support of California congressional candidates, on September 8, 2018, in Anaheim, California.
Obama is expected to deliver a similar message in Cleveland on Thursday, when he campaigns on behalf of Richard Cordray, the Democratic nominee for OH governor, and other Democrats.
Obama has weighed in from time to time, mainly through written statements criticizing the reversal of his policies, and he made a few campaign appearances during off-year elections in 2017 taking issue with the president. The adviser was not authorized to discuss Obama's thinking publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Other former presidents have returned to the campaign trail after leaving office, especially Bill Clinton, while generally, though not always, avoiding direct criticism of their successors. Republican politicians have long framed the media as the "opposition party" and worked to turn their voters against the press, but many argue Trump has taken this tactic to new heights.
"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. "Doubling down on that strategy won't work in 2018 either". She will headline voter registration rallies in Las Vegas and Miami later in September as part of a week of action by When We All Vote, the new nonpartisan organization she co-chairs.
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However, reporting has suggested that he had been more involved with the campaign than the Trump team has let on. The lawyers argued Papadopoulos lied as he was influenced by the President's aggressive sentiments on the probe.
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