Former US President Barack Obama on Saturday tied President Donald Trump, describing his successor as a fragile-skinned bully, whose real weakness was revealed when he stepped off the set of a high-profile interview this week after be faced with some probing questions.
“He likes to act and speak harshly. He thinks that frowning and being mean is difficult,” Obama said at a drive-in rally in South Florida. “But when ’60 Minutes’ and Lesley Stahl are very difficult for you, you are not that difficult.”
Obama tightened Trump’s screws for the second time in four days after making his campaign debut earlier this week at two events in Philadelphia.
The decision to appear in Florida, where polls indicate that the dispute will be decided by the best of margins, less than 10 days before election day, underscored the state’s potentially decisive role in the election. He also suggested that Biden’s campaign believes that victory there would put a pin on the drama of election night, cutting Trump’s increasingly narrow path to re-election.
“If you bring Florida home, it will be over,” Obama told volunteers at an unannounced stop in Miami Springs earlier in the day. “So I don’t have to stay up late. I don’t have to wait for the results until the next day. I want to sleep knowing that we will have a president fighting for us. “
Trump was in Ohio on Saturday, but he had Obama in mind. During comments at Circleville, he mentioned the former president’s return to the stump.
“I think it started yesterday or the day before yesterday, right? They had 42 people attending, 42,” said Trump. “We have thousands, tens of thousands, and outside of it, it’s five times what it is.”
Obama, like Biden, is not holding typical campaign rallies in deference to the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed the lives of more than 224,000 Americans and, on Friday, recorded the single biggest day of new cases since the pandemic began at the beginning. this year. Trump ignored warnings and appeals from public health officials to host larger events, which are not socially distant and feature only the occasional use of masks.
In his comments in Florida, Obama drew up a detailed process of Trump’s track record in office with mockery of the president’s rude personality, joking that anyone who is shaken by a “60 Minute” correspondent “will never face a dictator.”
The former president, who remained an obsession with Trump throughout his term, described the president’s behavior as “not normal” and compared it unfavorably to “Florida Man”, an internet meme that appears in the headlines about wild news , rebellious and frequent illegal behavior.
“You wouldn’t tolerate a co-worker. You wouldn’t tolerate a school principal. You wouldn’t tolerate a coach. You wouldn’t tolerate a family member,” said Obama, reciting a litany of Trump’s most bizarre actions. “The ‘Florida man’ wouldn’t even do these things. Why are we accepting this from the President of the United States?”
But Obama returned in all his speech to the spiraling pandemic and Trump’s response – and his failure to come up with a coherent response that addresses the scale of the crisis.
“Eight months after the start of this pandemic, new cases are breaking records. Donald Trump is not going to suddenly protect us all. He can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself,” Obama said, returning to an argument he made. on Wednesday, in reference to Trumps’ own struggle with the disease. The president is believed to have contracted the virus during a ceremony at the White House, which Obama – like many others – called the “superspring event” for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett earlier this month.
Obama also linked the rising pandemic to Trump’s efforts to dismantle his own achievement, the Affordable Care Act. If the 2010 health law is overturned in the Supreme Court, where its fate could be decided after the election, popular provisions like protection for patients with pre-existing illnesses would fall with it.
Trump has repeatedly stated that he has a replacement ready to use, but has not yet – after years of promises – introduced one to the public.
“The reason they don’t show you their plan to really provide protection to people when it comes to pre-existing conditions is because they don’t have, and never have,” said Obama. “That’s just a fact. And instead of just confessing that they don’t want people to have health insurance, they attacked the Affordable Care Act at every step.”
In his fight with “60 Minutes”, Trump released unedited footage of the interview, part of which showed Stahl pressing him on the whereabouts of his long-promised health plan. But Trump, unable to point out any specific legislation or project, just reaffirmed his vague promises.
He was clear, however, about his desire for the Supreme Court to end the law.
“I hope they get it over with,” said Trump. “It will be great if they get it over with.”
“Why would you want to take out people’s health insurance at exactly the time when people most need health insurance?” Obama said on Saturday, referring to Trump’s comment. “What is the reason for this? And think about what it would do to families here (in Miami-Dade).”
Obama concluded with another call for Americans to appear in record numbers before and on election day. He welcomed grassroots movements that fought the Trump administration’s family separation policy on the U.S. border with Mexico and took to the streets this summer to demonstrate against racism and police brutality.
But, he said, failing to vote would mean abandoning the principles that these protesters lined up to protect.
“We need to channel their activism into action. We can’t just talk. We cannot just imagine a better future. We have to go there and fight for him. rush the other side, “said Obama.” We have to vote like never before and we cannot leave any doubts. “