Barack Obama went to bat for ‘close friend’ Joe Biden at a fundraiser, calling out Donald Trump for running a ‘shambolic’ government. The virtual event was attended by 175,000 people — 168,800 more than Trump’s Tulsa rally turnout.
Two months after endorsing him, former President Barack Obama laid out exactly why he thinks his former VP and “close friend” should win the election on November 3. Obama, 58, appeared at a virtual fundraiser for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, where he said unequivocally: the United States cannot weather another four years of Donald Trump‘s “shambolic and mean-spirited approach to government.”
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“What we have seen over the last couple of years is a White House, enabled by Republicans in Congress and a media structure that supports them, that has not just differed in terms of policy, but in the very foundations of who we are and who we should be,” Obama told listeners during the June 23 fundraiser. You’re all feeling a sense of urgency — the same kind of urgency that I’m feeling right now, that Michelle‘s feeling, so many of us are feeling as we look at the news… I am here to say that help is on the way if we do the work.”
That help is coming in the form of young people, including the protesters still demonstrating across the United States, who are determined to bring about broad, systemic change. “There is a great awakening going on around the country,” Obama said, adding that it’s not just enough to demonstrate; voting in the elections is key for lasting change. Voting can help reform police departments and elect district attorneys that will prosecute fairly. He echoed a June 3 speech, saying that “this is not an either/or thing; it’s a both/and thing.”
“Whatever it is we’ve done so far to help Joe Biden get elected, we have to do more. There is no disconnect with the urgency of this political moment and what we’ve been seeing on the streets.” Obama stressed that he wasn’t rallying against Republicans as a whole when he slammed Trump: “”My predecessor [former President George W. Bush] who I disagreed with on a whole host of issues, still had a basic regard for the rule of law and the importance of our institutions, democracy. On the world stage, there was still a sense that America needed to lead.”
It was expected that Obama would endorse Biden for president, but he didn’t do so until he was already the presumptive nominee. “I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for president. Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend,” Obama said in a Twitter broadcast. “And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now… The other side has a massive war chest, the other side has a propaganda network with little regard for the truth.”
About 175,000 paying attendees tuned into Biden and Obama’s virtual fundraiser, according to the Biden campaign, raising an estimated $11 million. The event came three days after Trump’s disastrous rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was attended by 6200 supporters after hundreds of thousands RSVPd that they would be coming. The Wiggles once sold out that 19,200 capacity arena, for some perspective.
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