Obama: Trump Is 'a Symptom, Not the Cause'

Kenny Grant
September 8, 2018

"The consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire".

He later added: "This is not normal".

He said voters would have to do it for them.

But on Friday, Obama offered his most pointed indictment of the political climate that has formed under the watch of Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.

The speech was a preview of the arguments Obama is expected to make on the campaign trail.

Obama never said Trump's name during his fundraising speech for the DNC and instead urged Democrats to stop "moping" and get to work for candidates. "I found he's very good - very good for sleeping!" And after Obama's speech, one of them came from Matt Drudge-who tweeted, "Democrats lost 76 House seats and 15 Senate seats during Obama's terms". "We're supposed to stand up to bullies". "We understand that we energize the other side like very few people do, so we have to be thoughtful about where we campaign".

And Obama went on from there, calling Trump out over "cozying up to Putin", for not standing up to "Nazi sympathizers", for attacking the press, for directing his own Justice Department to show political deference, and for costing us "honesty and decency and lawfulness in our government". How hard can it be to say that Nazis are bad?'

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The address comes as the former president and first lady delicately re-enter the political fray ahead of the midterm elections, a move filled with peril and opportunity as the most powerful duo in Democratic politics test whether they can help handicap Trump's presidency without also motivating his supporters to the polls.

"We're going to take a look at what he had, what he gave, what he's talking about also where he is right now", Trump reporters on Air Force One on his way to a North Dakota campaign clambake.

Obama also criticized recent Republican policy moves such as the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that ballooned the nation's budget deficit, but which party leaders hoped would be a winning issue during midterm campaigns. After all, if you think Republicans were mainly reacting to excessive debt rather than engaging in a racialized backlash, then the emergence of Trump as the party's standard-bearer after four years of putatively serious fiscal conservatism is a sharp change.

Here is what seven right-wingers have said in response to Obama's speech.

The former president implored an audience of college students to vote in the upcoming election.

Michelle Obama's book, "Becoming", goes on sale November 13 - exactly a week after election day.

"There is only one check on abuses of power, and that's you and your vote".

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