PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Former President Barack Obama blasted President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, his culpability in national discord and his overall fitness for the job as he made his first in-person campaign pitch for his former vice president, Joe Biden.
With less than two weeks before Election Day, Obama used a drive-in campaign rally in Philadelphia yesterday to assure voters that Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, can mend a fractured country. He lauded the merits of democracy and citizenship as “human values” that the United States must again embrace.
“America is a good and decent place, but we’ve just seen so much nonsense and noise that sometimes it’s hard to remember,” Obama said, after spending much of his 35-minute speech upbraiding Trump as “incapable of taking the job seriously” and interested only in himself.
“I’m asking you to remember what this country can be,” Obama said. “I’m asking you to believe in Joe’s ability and Kamala’s ability to lead this country out of these dark times and help us build it back better.”
Obama’s visit to Philadelphia underscores the significance of Pennsylvania, the Rust Belt state that helped deliver Trump the White House four years ago. Pennsylvania is the battleground state that Biden has visited the most this campaign season. Trump has prioritized the state as well, aware that his path to victory would narrow considerably without the state’s 20 electoral votes. The president was in Erie yesterday, one of a handful of Pennsylvania counties Obama won twice before it flipped to Trump.
Obama paid heed especially to disillusioned voters, including Black men and progressives wary of Biden. He urged them not to sit out the Nov. 3 election, warning that complacency from some liberal voters is what helped Trump get elected four years ago.