Former US President Barack Obama speaks by video feed during the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention as participants from across the country are hosted over video links from the originally planned site of the convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, on August 19, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)
Watch former President Barack Obamas speech for the Democratic National Convention. "Do not let them take away your power. Don’t let them take away your democracy," he said.— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 20, 2020
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Former US President Barack Obama has slammed his successor, Donald Trump, as deeply unfit for presidency, saying he will endanger the very survival of American democracy.
"This (Trump) administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win. So we have to get busy building it up - by pouring all our effort into these 76 days, and by voting like never before - for Joe (Biden) and Kamala (Harris), and candidates up and down the ticket."
Obama was speaking during the third night of the Democratic National Convention that was held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said, "Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe," blaming Trump for the death of 170,000 Americans from the coronavirus, the ensuing economic collapse that cost millions of jobs, and the damage to US reputation and its democratic principles at home and abroad.
Obama used his speech to offer a personal endorsement of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who served as his vice president for two terms from 2008 to 2016.
"For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision," he said. "He made me a better president - and he’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country."
Biden was formally nominated on Tuesday night to take on Trump in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
In the most blistering attack on Trump yet, Obama excoriated the US president for showing "no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves."
Obama said Trump has failed to uphold safety and welfare of the American people.
"The one constitutional office elected by all of the people is the presidency. So at a minimum, we should expect a president to feel a sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of all 330 million of us. ... But we should also expect a president to be the custodian of this democracy."
The former US president urged Americans to vote, warning that Trump and his Republican allies can win only by suppressing and undermining votes, rather than on the merit of their policies.
"Do not let them take away your power," Obama said. "Do not let them take away your democracy. Make a plan right now for how you’re going to get involved and vote."
On Twitter, Trump responded to Obama’s appearance with a post in all capital letters.
WHY DID HE REFUSE TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE? WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2020
Harris accepts vice presidential nod
California Senator Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday.
She accused President Trump of failed leadership that had cost lives and livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Harris, who is the first Black woman and Asian-American on a major US presidential ticket, appealed to Black Americans and other minorities that Democrats need in the election.
"The constant chaos leaves us adrift, the incompetence makes us feel afraid, the callousness makes us feel alone. It’s a lot," she said.
"We must elect a president... who will bring all of us together - Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous - to achieve the future we collectively want. We must elect Joe Biden," Harris was speaking from an events center in Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, that was largely empty because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Harris said Trump’s divisive leadership had brought the country to an "inflection point," noting that "that country feels distant, and Donald Trump’s failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods."
’Things will get even worse’ if Trump reelected: Clinton
Former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also made speech during the third night of the Democratic National Convention, urging Americans to vote and saying "this can’t be another woulda-coulda-shoulda election."
Offering a ringing endorsement of Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris, Clinton urged early voting and said, "If you vote by mail, request your ballot now, and send it back as soon as you can. If you vote in person, do it early."
Biden, 77, leads Trump, 74, in US national opinion polls amid anger over Trump’s mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis and economic woes.
Clinton, who won the popular vote against Trump by three millions but lost in the Electoral College in 2016, said, "For four years, people have said to me, ’I didn’t realize how dangerous he was.’ ’I wish I could go back and do it over.’ Or worst, ’I should have voted.’"
"Joe and Kamala can win by 3 million votes and still lose," Clinton said. "Take it from me. So we need numbers overwhelming so Trump can’t sneak or steal his way to victory."
Clinton said last week that she hopes Harris and women running for political office in the future will receive "less sexist" US media coverage than she did in 2016.
In 2016, analysts said Clinton’s campaign colluded with the party establishment to defeat Senator Bernie Sanders in the primary race for the White House.
Analysts said the primaries were rigged for Clinton over Sanders, arguing that "Had they been honest primaries, I think Sanders would have won and Clinton would have lost."
SOURCE: PRESS TV