Obama tells voters to step up or things can get worse

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The speech, to students at a university in IL, is said to have been the former President's biggest condemnation of Republicans in Washington, and the first time he has publicly criticised Trump by name in a speech.

Mr Trump, asked about that speech during a trip to North Dakota, quipped that he had watched it but had fallen asleep. "He is a symptom, not the cause", he said. When Obama began to describe what he thought was the biggest issue, a man in the audience yelled, "Trump".

In a wide-ranging speech punctuated by frequent applause, Obama criticized the divisive politics of the era, decrying Trump's attacks on the media and the judiciary, his eagerness to work with Russian Federation while neglecting traditional alliances. "It works for me", Whitaker said.

He said: "What happened to the Republican party?"

"So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse", Obama said, "can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult, in phony controversies and manufactured outrage".

"You happen to be coming of age" amid backlash to progress, Obama told the students at University of IL at Urbana-Champaign. Southern California is a key battleground as Democrats work to oust Republicans from their stranglehold on elected positions in the area.

"If we don't step up, things can get worse", former president Obama told the cheering crowd.

Obama raised concerns over Trump's approach, referring to it indirectly as "this political darkness", according to The Washington Post.

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Obama's remarks signaled he would not pull any punches in taking on Trump, who Obama has studiously avoided attacking by name after handing him the keys to the presidency in January of 2017. And we sure as heck are supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. "He's just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years, the fear and anger that's rooted in our past".

Obama seemed to agree, saying: "The stakes really are higher".

"I found he's very good, very good for sleeping". "We've seen basic norms and principles that have served us well for decades increasingly violated", Obama said.

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.

The speech was a preview of the argument that Obama is likely to make throughout the fall.

Obama is set to appear later Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center in the heart of Orange County, a once-solid Republican stronghold that voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election that Donald Trump won. "The consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire". The question presently is whether the party can gain by the visit to keep up the force it'll have to win congressional seats in November.

The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee organized Saturday's event, which did not include Obama-endorsed candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar who is running against Republican incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).

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