Former President Barack Obama blasted President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his response to racial unrest and his fundamental unfitness for the job in his first in-person campaign pitch Wednesday for Joe Biden, his former vice president.
With less than two weeks until Election Day, Obama delivered a sweeping condemnation of Trump while urging voters not to sit out the Nov. 3 election.
Obama’s visit to Philadelphia underscores the significance of Pennsylvania, the swing state that Biden himself has visited the most this campaign season.
The president on Wednesday was in Erie, one of a handful of Pennsylvania counties that Obama won twice before it flipped to Trump.
Specifically targeting voters who might be disillusioned, Obama offered a defense of the nation’s decency and personal validation that Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, can live up to it.
“I am so confident in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris surrounding themselves with people who are serious, who know what they’re doing, who are representative of all people — not just some people — and us being able to then dig ourselves out of this hole,” Obama said.
The host city, Philadelphia, is among the Democratic bastions in key battleground states where Black turnout four years ago fell off from Obama’s 2012 reelection in large enough numbers to tip the election in Trump’s favor.
Despite the smaller scale, Democrats say that as one of the men who knows Biden best, both as his former partner in the White House and personally, Obama remains one of the party’s greatest assets in the final stretch of the campaign.
Obama has already been helpful to the Biden campaign, adapting to the shift to virtual events by focusing much of his work on getting younger Americans to vote.