10 attacks Obama unleashed on Trump, GOP in midterm speech

Former President Barack Obama spent a sizable amount of time in a speech he gave in Illinois on Friday criti...

Posted: Sep 8, 2018 7:15 PM
Updated: Sep 8, 2018 7:15 PM

Former President Barack Obama spent a sizable amount of time in a speech he gave in Illinois on Friday criticizing Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump, while stressing the importance of voting in the fast-approaching midterm elections.

His step back into the political arena offered a preview of his message for the fall's midterms.

Accidents, disasters and safety

Barack Obama

Donald Trump

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Hurricanes

Midterm elections

Natural disasters

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Political parties

Politics

Severe weather

Tropical storms

US federal government

US political parties

US Republican Party

Weather

White House

Public finance

Taxes and taxation

Trump quickly responded on Friday, telling a crowd in Fargo, North Dakota, that he "fell asleep" watching Obama's speech.

The Republican National Committee, for its part, responded to Obama's speech by saying, "President Obama stepped back into the spotlight to make the case that our country is on the wrong track."

"2016 is over, but President Obama is still dismissing the millions of voters across the country who rejected a continuation of his policies in favor of President Trump's plan for historic tax cuts, new jobs and economic growth," RNC spokesperson Ellie Hockenbury said in a statement. "Democrats may have a new resistor-in-chief on the campaign trail, but they'll need more than a message of resist and obstruct to win this November."

Here are some of the Obama's sharpest attacks on Trump and the Republican Party in his speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

1. "What happened to the Republican Party?"

The former Democratic President hit Trump and Republicans hard on a variety of issues including health care, voting rights, campaign finance laws, and the economy, arguing that some policies GOP leaders are pursuing today aren't conservative.

The former President questioned the GOP's approach to foreign policy, including its position on Russia, challenging climate change science, and embracing of conspiracy theories including those "surrounding Benghazi or my birth certificate."

2. "The politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party."

Obama argued that today's generation is the most diverse, "conditions that are ripe for exploitation by politicians who have no compunction and no shame about tapping into America's dark history of racial and ethnic and religious division."

3. "Republicans who know better in Congress, and they're there -- they're quoted saying, 'Yeah, we know this is kind of crazy' -- are still bending over backwards to shield this behavior from scrutiny or accountability or consequence, seem utterly unwilling to find the backbone to safeguard the institutions that make our democracy work."

He slammed congressional Republicans for not acting as a check on the Executive Branch.

4. "They're not doing us a service by actively promoting 90% of the crazy stuff that's coming out of this White House, and saying 'Don't worry, we're preventing the other 10%.' That's not how things are supposed to work. This is not normal."

Obama addressed the recent controversy within the White House surrounding The New York Times op-ed written by an anonymous senior Trump administration official. The op-ed author claimed there was a "resistance" of senior officials working in the White House to "frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." Obama argued that this "not how our democracy is supposed to work."

5. "I know there are Republicans who believe government should only perform a few minimal functions but that one of those functions should be making sure nearly 3,000 Americans don't die in a hurricane and its aftermath."

Obama made mention of the death toll in Hurricane Maria which hit Puerto Rico last year. Puerto Rico's government raised its official Hurricane Maria death toll from 64 to 2,975 last month. The Trump administration was under fire from Democrats for its response and handling of recovery efforts on the island.

6. "How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?"

Obama argued that, "We are supposed to stand up to discrimination and we are sure as heck to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers." In August 2017, Trump was criticized for saying there was "blame on both sides" for the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

7. "It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause."

Obama argued that Trump is "capitalizing on resentment that politicians have been fanning for years, a fear, an anger that is rooted in our past, but is also borne in our enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes."

8. "You've got to do what the Parkland kids are doing. ... And they're not giving up until we have a Congress that sees your lives are more important than a campaign check from the NRA."

The student activists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, got a shout-out from Obama as he also attacked the conservatives in Congress who accept donations from the National Rifle Association. Following a February 14 massacre at the school, survivors called on politicians to refuse to take money from the NRA.

9. "It should not be a partisan issue to say that we do not pressure the attorney general or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents or to explicitly call on the attorney general to protect members of our own party from prosecution because an election happens to be coming up."

Obama's more veiled attack was a reference to the President's tweet about Attorney General Jeff Sessions last Monday that also lamented the indictments of GOP Reps. Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins, suggesting they shouldn't have been charged so close to the midterm elections and because they are Republicans.

10. "It's supposed to be the party supposedly of fiscal conservatism. Suddenly deficits do not matter."

Obama slammed the Republican Party's tax reform bill passed last December, which the former President argued gave "$1.5 trillion in tax cuts to people like me, who I promise don't need it."

Huntsville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 74°
Florence
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 74°
Fayetteville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12486232
Mobile9420204
Montgomery6449148
Madison516130
Tuscaloosa405769
Baldwin338023
Unassigned319060
Shelby316432
Marshall306034
Lee258844
Morgan229517
Etowah204128
DeKalb174513
Calhoun167213
Elmore167238
Walker149864
Houston134812
Dallas130523
St. Clair128915
Russell12772
Limestone126113
Franklin123820
Cullman118912
Colbert114113
Lauderdale112315
Autauga105021
Escambia104416
Talladega96713
Jackson9244
Tallapoosa84179
Chambers83538
Dale80223
Blount7593
Butler75635
Chilton7456
Coffee7365
Covington71620
Pike6877
Lowndes56724
Barbour5655
Marion56224
Marengo53614
Clarke4949
Hale46426
Bullock45011
Winston44011
Perry4364
Wilcox41410
Bibb4134
Monroe4084
Randolph39410
Conecuh37810
Pickens3779
Sumter36018
Lawrence3321
Macon32013
Washington32012
Crenshaw3123
Choctaw27712
Cherokee2587
Greene24911
Henry2493
Geneva2480
Clay2375
Lamar2122
Fayette1835
Cleburne1251
Coosa1012
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 116350

Reported Deaths: 1186
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby22212300
Davidson20001211
Rutherford629853
Hamilton588449
Knox429837
Williamson340525
Sumner331672
Unassigned30368
Out of TN283116
Wilson219023
Bradley181712
Montgomery181513
Sevier17916
Putnam167716
Trousdale15786
Robertson150619
Hamblen134614
Blount12229
Maury11597
Tipton11559
Washington11312
Madison98415
Bedford90111
Sullivan89512
Hardeman85815
Macon85513
Lake7650
Loudon7053
Bledsoe6861
Dickson6521
Fayette6528
Anderson6516
Gibson6444
Dyer5937
Cheatham5697
Lawrence5276
Jefferson5253
Henderson5172
Rhea5171
McMinn50920
Obion4904
Coffee4823
Warren4794
Carter4735
Lauderdale4558
Hardin4447
Cocke4392
Haywood4356
Smith4294
Roane4232
Greene4187
Hawkins4167
Cumberland3986
Monroe3979
Giles36913
Weakley3633
McNairy3515
DeKalb3312
Franklin3024
Marshall2753
Carroll2723
Lincoln2681
Crockett2534
Henry2480
Hickman2480
White2465
Claiborne2420
Campbell2291
Johnson2250
Wayne2242
Marion2134
Chester2062
Grainger1890
Decatur1883
Polk1853
Overton1551
Unicoi1480
Union1410
Cannon1360
Benton1261
Humphreys1183
Jackson1121
Scott1100
Grundy1082
Sequatchie1000
Meigs990
Morgan981
Fentress790
Hancock771
Perry770
Stewart740
Clay710
Lewis671
Houston560
Moore550
Van Buren350
Pickett301

Community Events