Obama urges Biden supporters to not be complacent about defeating Trump: 'He won once'
The former president said that if Biden wins, he will inherit a much worse situation compared to him when he took over at the time of the recession
He was among the last batch of top leaders to have endorsed Joe Biden for president after showing hesitation initially. But former president Barack Obama has now shown an intent to back his Democratic Party to defeat incumbent Donald Trump and made an appearance on a Zoom fundraiser on Tuesday, June 23, that raked in $7.6 million for Biden's campaign.
While the 58-year-old cheered the recent activities in the political arena that broke out in the wake of the brutal death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, he also reminded the Democratic supporters that defeating Trump would not be an easy task. Obama, who served between 2009 and 2017 and had Biden as his deputy, told some 120,000 supporters during the call: "We can't be complacent or smug or sense that somehow it's so obvious that this president hasn't done a good job because, look, he won once."
He also told Democratic supporters that whatever they have done so far is not enough, adding that he holds himself and his family to "that same standard". Obama added, “Unlike our current president, we recognize that we have a public health crisis going on. It means that we have to show restraint and how we structure campaigns has to be different and take that into account."
Obama, who generally maintains a low profile spoke out about the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the protests in the wake of Floyd’s death as well as administrative issues like dropping charges against tainted former national security adviser Michael Flynn, said. He also targeted the current administration without taking Trump's name and accused them of "actively promoting division".
Obama said the Biden campaign would be lending ears to the public health experts who have warned against forming crowds and strictly advised wearing masks. As Obama spoke, Trump was holding a rally-like event in Phoenix, Arizona, where the audience was largely without masks.
"Poor Dr Fauci, who has to testify and then see his advice flouted by the person who he's working for," Obama said, several hours after Fauci, a top infectious diseases expert, finished up a full day testifying on Capitol Hill. Trump has been seen having differing opinions with Fauci, picked as one of the members of his task force, on handling the pandemic a number of times.
'A flawed and divided America'
Obama also spoke about how the former VP would inherit a worse situation than him if he wins the November election. The former Illinois senator became America’s first black president in 2009 when he succeeded George W Bush and inherited a situation marked by a deep financial crisis. Biden was a key player of his administration in handling that crisis — all the more reason for his supporters to hope that he has the ability to address a post-Trump order.
"As challenging as those times were and as much of a slog as it was to yank the economy out of the economic crisis that it was in... there was still a sense of a shared American idea that we could build on," Obama said. He said the difference now is that the Trump White House, Republicans in Congress and a "media structure that supports them" have "gone at the very foundations of who we are and who we should be."
"That suggests facts don't matter, science doesn't matter. That suggests that a deadly disease is fake news,” he said, adding: “That sees the Justice Department as simply an extension and arm of the personal concerns of the president. That actively promotes division. And considers some people in this country more real as Americans than others.”
Describing the 77-year-old Biden as a perfect healer-in-chief, Obama said he did not trust anybody else more than the former Delaware senator to heal American and help it get back on track. Biden, who allowed Obama to speak for most of the time at the fundraiser, had called the latter his "friend and former boss" in a tweet promoting the "grassroots" event earlier. When they went off the call, both Biden and Obama expressed their love for each other.
Biden and Obama also hosted a private online portion for high donors and the event, which was not open to reporters, also raised more than $3.4 million. The Trump campaign mocked at the fundraiser as secretive after a livestream of its video feed was not made available to the reporters. "Biden has become so bad that his handlers can’t even trust him to share a screen with President Obama," the president’s campaign said.