Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Barack Obama slams Donald Trump, warns of 'dangerous times'

Barack Obama slams Donald Trump, warns of 'dangerous times'

President Barack Obama will step back into politics today - Friday - and deliver a speech that will preview his 2018 midterm election message.

Mr Obama said during a speech at the University of IL on Friday, where he accepted an award for ethics in government, that US President Trump is "capitalising on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years".

At an appearance at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, Obama had direct criticisms for President Trump and the Republican party in general going into the midterm elections.

In a speech at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, Mr Obama said Americans were living in "dangerous times", urging Democrats to vote in November midterm elections to restore "honesty and decency and lawfulness" to government.

Obama warned, however, not to exclusively blame Trump for the rise of the far right and white nationalism, saying that Trump was a "symptom, not the cause" of the nation's divisive politics. "He is a symptom, not a cause", Obama told students at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign.

"He's just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years", he said.

Former President Barack Obama has urged an audience of college students to not just vote in the midterm elections, but to lead the fight against President Donald Trump and his allies.

"I'm sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep", Mr Trump said at a campaign appearance in Fargo, North Dakota.

"We're supposed to stand up to bullies", Obama said.

"I have to say this to President Obama: if Democrats got in, with their agenda, in November of nearly two years ago, instead of having 4.2 up, I believe you would have 4.2 down - you'd be in negative numbers". He praised Republicans who in the past had helped expand civil rights and other protections and said neither party "has had a monopoly on wisdom".

Obama told the students: "The question is: 'What are you going to do?'"

Now, as 2018 midterm campaign season gets underway, it's likely a very public Trump-versus-Obama showdown becomes a defining storyline of the year. "That is not how our democracy is supposed to work".

The Republican Party's refusal to compromise with Obama on health care, climate, deficit reduction, and so on was not because Obama treated them too arrogantly or refused to address the deficit seriously. "I found he's very good, very good for sleeping".

Appearing on Fox News after Obama's speech, Mercedes Schlapp (White House senior advisor for strategic communications) claimed that Obama was falsely taking credit for Trump's economic accomplishments.

In his speech, Obama criticized the divisive politics of the Trump era, decrying attacks on the freedom of the press, the justice system, and numerous other controversies. And we're sure as heck supposed to stand up, clearly and unequivocally, to Nazi sympathizers.

"He is acutely aware that he has a mixed record of success when his name is not on the ballot", said one person familiar with President Obama's thinking, who asked not to be named discussing internal deliberations. "Our democracy depends upon it", he said. Saying that Nazis are bad?

"If it does happen, it's your fault, because you didn't go out to vote. OK?"

Separately, Trump also told reporters on Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should investigate the Times column, calling it a "disgrace".

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