With Hillary Clinton sidelined by pneumonia, U.S. President Barack Obama took up the Democrats’ fight against Donald Trump on Tuesday (September 13), trying to quash the Republican presidential candidate’s bid to appeal to working-class voters.
“In election season you will often hear crazy stuff, but I got to say this year we’ve been hearing a little more crazy than usual,” Obama said.
Obama, whose 50 percent job approval rating could help improve the climate for the Democratic ticket in the Nov. 8 election, rallied party faithful against Trump, a 70-year-old New York real estate developer, at an outdoor event in Philadelphia.
“What we’ve seen from the other side in this election, this isn’t Abraham Lincoln’s Republican Party. This isn’t even the vision of freedom that Ronald Reagan talked about. This is a dark pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other,” Obama said.
Obama’s campaign appearance was his first as a solo act on behalf of Clinton as he tries to ensure Democrats retain control of the White House once his eight years are over in January.
“This is not me going through the motions here. I really really really want to elect Hillary Clinton,” said Obama as he chanted “Hillary” along with supporters. “I could not be prouder of the leader that we have nominated to take my place. So even though I’ve run my last campaign, I am going to work as hard as I can this fall, to elect Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States of America.”
The president slammed Trump for making polemical comments daily and said controversies surrounding Clinton did not compare.
“We cannot afford suddenly to treat this like a reality show. We can’t afford to act as if there’s some equivalence here,” Obama said.
Clinton, Obama’s former secretary of state, rested at her home in Chappaqua, New York, from pneumonia, a diagnosis that was made on Friday but which she kept secret until she nearly collapsed in New York on Sunday at a ceremony marking the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.