Typically reserved and measured at the podium, former President Barack Obama didn't hold back Friday in a scathing critique of President Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Washington. "How hard can that be, saying "Nazis are bad"?" "And we're sure as heck supposed to stand up to Nazi sympathizers", Obama said, referring to Trump's comment that there was blame on "both sides" at a white nationalist rally previous year in Charlottesville, Va. Democrats at the time, including Obama, denied the accusation and said those who dared to oppose the legislation were simply fear mongers or racists. "He is just capitalizing on resentment that politicians have been fanning for years".
The former president is following up his address by campaigning Saturday with Democratic candidates running to flip Republican House seats in Southern California's Orange County, a traditionally conservative-leaning area where Republicans are at risk of losing several House seats. "That is not a check".
"That is not a check, I'm being serious here".
In a healthy democracy it doesn't work, Obama schooled.
President Donald Trump claims he fell asleep watching former President Barack Obama's speech about the current political climate.
The speech comes ahead of Obama's first campaign events of the midterms: a rally for a handful of Democratic congressional candidates in California on Saturday and an event for Richard Cordray, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in OH, next Thursday.
Obama is hitting the campaign trail for his fellow Democrats, with an event in California for House candidates and then a stop in OH next week.
Meanwhile, former first lady Michelle Obama is taking a bit of a different approach by not directly campaigning for Democrats but doing voter registration for the midterms and beyond through the newly created "When We All Vote".
Obama's remarks come as the midterm election enters full swing.
Referencing the opinion piece published in the New York Times anonymously by someone only described as a "senior administration official" who criticized Trump and his inability to understand policy, Obama pointedly decried anyone who deemed those sentiments a solution.
But today, the former president made clear the consequences of being quiet -- of polite presidential deference - have become too "dire". While he has endorsed candidates and appeared at fundraising events, he has spent much of his post-presidency on the political sidelines.
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Ellie Hockenbury released a statement after Obama's speech contending the 2016 election was America's verdict on the Obama economy.
The speech was a preview of the arguments Obama is expected to make on the campaign trail.
"Don't boo - vote", Obama said, kicking off a midterm push to encourage especially low-propensity voters - like the college students he was speaking to - to go to the polls.