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Obama, on Campaign Trail, Accuses Trump of Messing Up 'Booming Economy' He Left Him

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Obama, on Campaign Trail, Accuses Trump of Messing Up 'Booming Economy' He Left Him

2020-10-22 14:34:55

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Barack Obama (Image source:Screenshot)

Former President Barack Obama took some flak earlier this year when he wasn't out stumping regularly for his buddy, former Vice President Joe Biden. But he's shown up when it counts to deliver blistering attacks on Donald Trump, just like he did on Wednesday night in Philadelphia with his one and only campaign event.

Obama played it right the past four years. He was quiet with regard to Trump. Not that it was reciprocated, but he continued to "go high" while Trump hit very low.

He started offering a few barbs on social media or in the press, then came out strong in August. It seemed he was sacrificing himself by going public, letting Trump focus his attacks on him, somewhat protecting Biden.

If that was the case, Wednesday night Obama was all in. He went for the gauntlet when he stumped for Biden in Philadelphia. With the former vice president laying low this week to prepare for Thursday night's debate, Obama stepped in and surely provoked Trump. Perhaps he'll be so angry that it takes him out of his game during the debate.

The former president hit the current president every way possible. He attacked him right away over Trump's appearance in the state the night before in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Trump told the audience on Tuesday that he would not have been there had the pandemic not happened. He blamed that for his bad polling numbers and said it was the only reason he was campaigning in Erie. Obama, though, contrasted that and said, "I love coming to Pennsylvania!"

And he never eased up on Trump throughout the rest of his speech, hitting him up on the coronavirus, the economy, racism, every policy.

"I never thought Donald Trump would embrace my vision or continue my policies, but I did hope for the sake of the country, that he might show some interest in taking the job seriously," Obama drilled. "But it hasn't happened. He hasn't shown any interest in doing the work or helping anybody but himself and his friends."

Regarding the coronavirus pandemic, Obama recalled Trump saying there was "not much" he would change about his response to the virus that has spiked again in a big way recently, the second/third wave we were warned about.

"Really?" asked Obama at the drive-in rally, another contrast, compared to Trump's packed, not-socially-distanced rallies. "Not much? Nothing you can think of that could have helped some people keep their loved ones alive?"

"This is not a reality show — this is reality," the former president continued. "Four years ago, you'd be tailgating here instead of watching a speech from your car."

He suggested Trump uses his position to boost his profile and added, "Event then, his TV ratings are down. So you know that upsets him."

But he really hit Trump when he brought up that he inherited a booming economy from him, adding, but "just like everything else he inherited, he messed it up," hinting at the business and wealth Trump inherited from his father.

Obama brought up the reports that Trump only paid $750 in taxes two years in a row and remarked on a report from this week that said he has a Chinese bank account.

"How is that possible? A secret Chinese bank account," mused Obama. "Listen, can you imagine if I had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for reelection?"

"You think Fox News might have been a little concerned about that? They would have called me Beijing Barry," he said, probably only half-jokingly.

Not that he only drilled down on Trump, as he also touted Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). Obama explained that while he didn't get a chance to know Biden well when they were both in the Senate, he "came to admire Joe as a man who has learned early on to treat everyone that he meets with dignity and respect."

He also compared the candidates, saying Biden would "never call the men and women of our military suckers and losers," recalling a prior report quoting Trump.

Obama noted that Trump has "emboldened" racists and ran through Trump's conspiracy theories that he delights in retweeting.

"It just won't be so exhausting," said Obama of a Biden administration. He told the crowd they would not "have to think about the crazy things ... and that is worth a lot."

Earlier in the day, the former president had participated in a roundtable meeting in North Philadelphia, where he stuck to the same theme. He urged the Black men that attended to vote this year. He explained it wouldn't dramatically and immediately change their lives but said it would send the country in the right direction.

"With my election, I think we had probably gotten over-optimistic about how much change had happened in the country. But that change was real," remembered Obama. "There was some pushback. And that was real, too."

He explained, "We can't afford another four years of this because what happens is you do get to a point where you go so far backward that it becomes really hard to dig yourself out of that hole."

"The pandemic would've been tough for any president," Obama said, bringing up the global health crisis again. "But the degree of incompetence and misinformation, the number of people who might not had died had we just done the basics, the degree to which it has impacted low-income communities so disproportionally, that's something that I'm not just confident that it can be fixed, there's proof." 

On his way out after the roundtable, he picked up a bullhorn and told Democratic organizers, "We've got to turn out like never before. We cannot leave any doubt in this election." He added, "A whole bunch of people stayed at home and got lazy and complacent. Not this time. Not in this election."

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