Former US President Barack Obama gestures as he campaigns on behalf of Democratic presidential nominee and his former Vice President Joe Biden in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, on October 21, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)
Former US President Barack Obama has unleashed his most direct attacks, to date, on his successor Donald Trump, as he appeared in his first full-fledged rally event for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.
Former President Barack Obama, stumping for his former VP Joe Biden, blasted President Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, noting that Trump himself had fallen victim to the virus https://t.co/Dac4VGwaJL pic.twitter.com/pLUNrMOsTb— Reuters (@Reuters) October 22, 2020
Speaking at a drive-in event in Philadelphia, Obama said with Biden and Harris in the White House, Americans are "not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day."
"And thatís worth a lot," Obama said Wednesday. "Youíre not going to have to argue about them every day. It just wonít be so exhausting."
Obama said that over the past four years, Americans "have had to live with the consequences of him [Trump] proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously."
"I never thought Donald Trump would embrace my vision or continue my polices, but I did hope for the sake of the country, that he might show some interest in taking the job seriously," he said.
"But it hasnít happened. He hasnít showed any interest in doing the work or helping anybody but himself and his friends," Obama added.
Obama also issued a stark reminder of 2016, when opinion polls showed Hillary Clinton as the clear favorite -- only for her and her supporters to be shocked by a Trump victory on Election Day.
"We canít be complacent. I donít care about the polls," the former two-term president told the rally outside a baseball stadium.
"There were a whole bunch of polls last time. Didnít work out. Because a whole bunch of folks stayed at home. And got lazy and complacent. Not this time. Not in this election."
He told supporters that too much was at stake to have four more years of Trump leading the nation.
Obama warned that "the next 13 days will matter for decades to come."
The former president also took aim at Trumpís handling of the coronavirus pandemic, mentioning the presidentís own infection with the deadly virus.
"Donald Trump isnít suddenly going to protect all of us," he said. "He canít even take the basic steps to protect himself."
Obama noted that Trump had recently said that there is "not much" he would change about the US response to the pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 222,000 people across the nation.
"Really?" Obama asked. "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," Obama added.
The former president also accused Trump of having "messed up" a booming economy, he left to the nation after his two terms in office.
He said that "just like everything else he inherited, he messed it up."
Bidenís team said Obama would campaign in Miami on Saturday for the Democratic ticket.
Obamaís appearance filled a gap left by Biden, who has stayed home in Delaware since Monday for meetings and preparation ahead of his Thursday final debate with Trump in Nashville, Tennessee.
Trump reacted to Obama remarks, at an evening rally in Gastonia, North Carolina, saying that Obama had supported Clinton in her losing effort.
"It was nobody who campaigned harder for Crooked Hillary than Obama, right?"
He was referring to a campaign rally in Philadelphia, where Obama participated with then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Trump has once again reiterated that coronavirus-related restrictions were harming the stateís economy.
He accused Democrats and the news media of trying to scare people.
"All you hear is COVID, COVID," the president said. "Thatís all they put on because they want to scare the hell out of everyone."
His remarks came amid a surge in cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations in battleground states, including North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Recent polls suggested that a majority of likely voters are disappointed with Trumpís handling of the health crisis.