President Barack Obama made an enthusiastic push Tuesday for his preferred successor and former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, telling supporters in Philadelphia that he “really, really, really” wants her elected.
He also attacked Clinton’s rival for the White House, Donald Trump, disputing that the Republican nominee has been or will be a true friend to the working class.
“This is the guy you want to be championing working people?” the Democratic president asked. “The guy who spent 70 years on this earth showing no concern for working people?”
Obama continued, “He wasn’t going to let you on his golf course. He wasn’t going to let you buy in his condo. And now, suddenly, this guy’s going to be your champion?”
It was the president’s first time stumping for Clinton since the Democratic National Convention in the same city in late July, and Obama stepped up for his party’s sidelined nominee as she recovers at her Chappaqua home from a bout of pneumonia.
Clinton had left Sunday’s 9/11 commemoration early after her campaign said she had “overheated.”
Obama made no mention of the episode, though he acknowledged a rally attendee who apparently fainted from the heat.
The Philadelphia stop was planned in advance, so Obama — a star surrogate for Clinton — was not campaigning in place of her.
Former President Bill Clinton, however, was to take her place at a Las Vegas appearance on Wednesday.
Also stumping on her behalf this week are her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea.
Obama condemned Trump for taking on Russian President Vladimir Putin as his “role model.”
He said Trump’s compliments of Putin were representative of the state of Republican Party, adding that the candidate went “on Russian state television to talk down our military and to curry favor with Vladimir Putin. He loves this guy.”
Trump’s campaign criticized Obama’s outreach for Clinton with an email with the subject line: “Shouldn’t you be at work?”
The president also participated in a DNC roundtable Tuesday in Philadelphia and a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where tickets started at $16,700. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) also attended.
Obama told the dozens in the room that the presidential campaign matters in large part because Trump is “explicitly tapping into some of the worst impulses in each of us: the notion that somebody who’s not like me is bad, is dangerous.”