Obama Slams Donald Trump Publicly For First Time

The speech comes ahead of his first midterm campaign events beginning Saturday in the battleground of Orange County Calif

Fox News released a excerpt of an upcoming interview with the Vice President, where he said Obama had rolled out "the same exhausted arguments that he and liberals have made over the last eight years". He said people have asked him what he's going to do for the November election.

"As a fellow citizen, not as an ex-president, but as a citizen, I'm here to deliver a simple message that is that you need to vote". "The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference", Obama said.

Former President Barack Obama says the USA needs to restore "honesty and decency" in government. And each time there is progress, someone incites backlash, he said.

He says, "I'm not making that up".

Obama also took aim at the Republican Party directly saying "the politics of resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home" in the party. "None of this is conservative", Obama said. "How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?"

Speaking to a packed auditorium with about 1,100 students, faculty and community members, he said young people are coming of age during a time when the powerful and privileged are pushing back on America's ideals.

"This President and this Congress are hitting people right in the pocket book and people see that", Cox said, arguing Obama will offer them an image of Democratic leadership.

Obama says "What happened to the Republican Party?"

Obama said it's not an exaggeration to say the midterm elections are the most important in his lifetime.

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Shortly after Obama's remarks concluded, President Trump took the stage at a campaign event in North Dakota, where he reacted to Obama jumping back into politics.

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

On Friday, Obama made his first appearance in the midterm election battle, in a speech at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, where he accepted an ethics in government award. Each of the seven candidates that Obama campaigned for on Saturday fit that description.

"He is a re-energizer for progressives who care about what's at stake and a reminder for independents that we can have a President who isn't an embarrassment to the country", said Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist who worked on Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

Obama is speaking Friday at the University of IL, where he's receiving an award for ethics in government.

He said the consequences of sitting on the sidelines are "dire".

Obama has spent much of 2018 away from the political fray, focusing on writing his book and raising money for his post-presidency foundation.

But, Obama added, when there is a vacuum in democracy, "other voices fill the void". A series of former presidents have avoided critiquing their successors, and Obama has attempted to keep that tradition since he left office in January 2017. Obama is set to speak Friday as he accepts an ethics in government award in IL.

In a now infamous comment following the clash of white supremacists and counter-protesters, which saw counter-protester Heather Heyer killed when a Nazi-sympathiser drove a vehicle into a crowd, Mr Trump said there were "some very fine people on both sides".

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