Barack Obama’s hit parade against Trump and Republicans
US leader hits hard as he campaigns for Hillary Clinton as voting looms on November 8
President Barack Obama continued his tour of eviscerating Donald Trump and downballot Republicans on Thursday in Miami as he hops between swing states in hopes of electing Hillary Clinton next week.
Obama spoke for more than an hour at the rally, which took place at Florida International University. He relentlessly mocked Trump and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who has become a favourite target in recent weeks as he hopes to help elect Representative Patrick Murphy to Rubio’s seat.
“Listen, you even have a Republican senator saying you cannot afford to give the nuclear codes to somebody so erratic,” he said.
“And as Hillary points out, anybody that you can bait with a tweet is not someone you can trust with nuclear weapons,” he added. “Anybody who is upset about a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit, you don’t want in charge of nuclear weapons. No, I’m serious. This is a guy who, like, tweets they should cancel ‘Saturday Night Live’ — I don’t like how Alec Baldwin is imitating me. Really? I mean, that’s the thing that bothers you, and you want to be president of the United States? Come on, man. Come on.”
Making note of a litany of past Trump controversies, including his treatment of workers and boasts about groping and kissing women, Obama said Republicans “can’t make excuses for this stuff”and that it was not “a joke.”
“This isn’t ‘Survivor,’” he said. “This isn’t ‘The Bachelorette.’ This counts. This has to do with what’s going to happen in your family, in your community, to soldiers and veterans, the safety of our kids.”
The president soon turned his attention on to Rubio, saying his opponent, Murphy, “actually shows up to work,” a line of attack aimed at Rubio’s allegedly poor Senate attendance record. He also made note of where the two differ on the Republican presidential nominee.
“And there’s one other big difference between Patrick and Marco: Marco supports Donald Trump,” he continued. “Now, keep in mind, earlier this year [Rubio] called Donald a ‘dangerous con-artist.’ He said that Donald Trump has ‘spent a career sticking it to working people.’ And then he tweeted — this is Marco Rubio — he tweeted, ‘Friends don’t let friends vote for con-artists.’”
“So guess who just voted for Donald Trump a few days ago? Marco Rubio,” he continued. “Obviously, he did not have good enough friends.”
After laughter from the crowd, Obama said that vote “tells you something.”
“Now, if you knew better when you were running against Trump — you knew he was a con-artist, spent a lot of time sticking it to working people — this is what you said — I mean, I’m not making this up, right? I just want to be clear,” he said. “He said this. It’s quoted, taped, right? If you knew better and then you went ahead and voted for this guy anyway, and supported this guy anyway, that means you are somebody who will say anything or be anything, be anybody just so you can get elected or cling to power.”
“And you know what, if that’s the kind of person you want representing you, I guess you should vote for Marco Rubio. But if you want a senator who will show up and work for you, and have some integrity, and has some consistency, and will actually say what he thinks and what he means and then act on that, somebody you have confidence in -- then you should vote for Patrick Murphy.”
Obama moved his criticism on to all Republicans in Congress — a move Clinton, the Democratic nominee, has often avoided on the stump.
The president said Republicans spent eight years “being against me,” and they would be against Clinton if she were in office. He criticised them for not confirming Judge Merrick Garland, his March nomination to the vacant Supreme Court seat.
“Some of the same folks who just a while back said, well, we can’t have hearings and vote for the guy Obama nominated because we’re so close to the election, we should let the next president make the nomination. Right? That’s what they said,” Obama said.
“So now, they think Hillary might win — they say, well, we might block hers too,” he continued. “Wait, but I thought you said that the people were going to decide. Can I talk to the press for a second? What happened? Do we ever run back the tape? Do we ever kind of go, well, what happened? That’s what they said, and now they’re saying something entirely different. Come on, man. This has got to be on the level.”
He said it’s “just not true” that Democrats and Republicans are “equally obstructionist” in Washington DC.
“You’ve got some Republicans right now who are suggesting they will impeach Hillary,” he said. “They don’t necessarily know why, but they’re just going to impeach her. Imagine if you had sitting Democratic senators saying that about Donald Trump — before he was even elected, saying, he will be impeached.”
Obama’s Florida address came one day after he gave a similar speech in North Carolina, during which he said the “fate of the republic rests on” the shoulders of those voters.
“The fate of the world is teetering,” he warned.