WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama delivered a searing critique of his successor, President Donald Trump, throughout his keynote tackle Wednesday evening at the digital Democratic National Convention.
Obama spoke reside from Philadelphia, the place he described why his former vice president, Joe Biden, is the proper man for the White House.
Asked to reply to excerpts of Obama’s criticism Wednesday, Trump advised reporters, “President Obama did not do a good job … The reason I’m here is because of President Obama and Joe Biden. Because if they did a good job, I wouldn’t be here.”
Below are Obama’s full remarks.
“Good evening, everybody. As you’ve seen by now, this isn’t a normal convention. It’s not a normal time. So tonight, I want to talk as plainly as I can about the stakes in this election. Because what we do these next 76 days will echo through generations to come.
“I’m in Philadelphia, the place our Constitution was drafted and signed. It wasn’t an ideal doc. It allowed for the inhumanity of slavery and failed to ensure girls – and even males who did not personal property – the proper to take part in the political course of. But embedded on this doc was a North Star that might information future generations; a system of consultant authorities – a democracy – by way of which we may higher understand our highest beliefs. Through civil battle and bitter struggles, we improved this Constitution to incorporate the voices of those that’d as soon as been not noted. And regularly, we made this nation extra simply, extra equal, and extra free.
“The one Constitutional office elected by all of the people is the presidency. So at minimum, we should expect a president to feel a sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of all 330 million of us – regardless of what we look like, how we worship, who we love, how much money we have – or who we voted for.
“But we also needs to anticipate a president to be the custodian of this democracy. We ought to anticipate that no matter ego, ambition, or political views, the president will protect, shield, and defend the freedoms and beliefs that so many Americans marched for and went to jail for; fought for and died for.
“I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president. I never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care.
“But he by no means did. For near 4 years now, he’s proven little interest in placing in the work; little interest in discovering frequent floor; little interest in utilizing the superior energy of his workplace to assist anybody however himself and his associates; little interest in treating the presidency as something however yet another actuality present that he can use to get the consideration he craves.
“Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe. 170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone while those at the top take in more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.
“Now, I do know that in instances as polarized as these, most of you could have already made up your thoughts. But perhaps you are still undecided which candidate you will vote for – or whether or not you will vote at all. Maybe you are bored with the path we’re headed, however you’ll be able to’t see a greater path but, otherwise you simply do not know sufficient about the one that needs to steer us there.
“So let me tell you about my friend Joe Biden.
“Twelve years in the past, after I started my seek for a vice president, I did not know I’d find yourself discovering a brother. Joe and I got here from completely different locations and completely different generations. But what I rapidly got here to admire about him is his resilience, born of an excessive amount of battle; his empathy, born of an excessive amount of grief. Joe’s a person who realized – early on – to deal with each particular person he meets with respect and dignity, residing by the phrases his dad and mom taught him: “No one’s better than you, Joe, but you’re better than nobody.”
“That empathy, that decency, the belief that everybody counts – that’s who Joe is.
“When he talks with somebody who’s misplaced her job, Joe remembers the evening his father sat him right down to say that he’d misplaced his. When Joe listens to a mother or father who’s making an attempt to carry all of it collectively proper now, he does it as the single dad who took the practice again to Wilmington every evening so he may tuck his children into mattress. When he meets with navy households who’ve misplaced their hero, he does it as a kindred spirit; the mother or father of an American soldier; any individual whose religion has endured the hardest loss there’s.
“For eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president – and he’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country.
“And in my pal Kamala Harris, he’s chosen a really perfect associate who’s greater than ready for the job; somebody who is aware of what it is like to beat boundaries and who’s made a profession preventing to assist others reside out their very own American dream.
“Along with the experience needed to get things done, Joe and Kamala have concrete policies that will turn their vision of a better, fairer, stronger country into reality.
“They’ll get this pandemic below management, like Joe did when he helped me handle H1N1 and stop an Ebola outbreak from reaching our shores. They’ll increase well being care to extra Americans, like Joe and I did ten years in the past when he helped craft the Affordable Care Act and nail down the votes to make it the regulation. They’ll rescue the economic system, like Joe helped me do after the Great Recession. I requested him to handle the Recovery Act, which jumpstarted the longest stretch of job development in historical past.
“And he sees this moment now not as a chance to get back to where we were, but to make long-overdue changes so that our economy actually makes life a little easier for everybody – whether it’s the waitress trying to raise a kid on her own, or the shift worker always on the edge of getting laid off, or the student figuring out how to pay for next semester’s classes.
“Joe and Kamala will restore our standing in the world – and as we have realized from this pandemic, that issues. Joe is aware of the world, and the world is aware of him. He is aware of that our true energy comes from setting an instance the world needs to comply with. A nation that stands with democracy, not dictators. A nation that may encourage and mobilize others to beat threats like local weather change, terrorism, poverty, and illness.
“But more than anything, what I know about Joe and Kamala is that they actually care about every American. And they care deeply about this democracy.
“They consider that in a democracy, the proper to vote is sacred, and we must be making it simpler for folks to forged their poll, not more durable. They consider that nobody – together with the president – is above the regulation, and that no public official – together with the president – ought to use their workplace to counterpoint themselves or their supporters.
“They understand that in this democracy, the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t use the men and women of our military, who are willing to risk everything to protect our nation, as political props to deploy against peaceful protesters on our own soil. They understand that political opponents aren’t “un-American” just because they disagree with you; that a free press isn’t the “enemy” but the way we hold officials accountable; that our ability to work together to solve big problems like a pandemic depends on a fidelity to facts and science and logic and not just making stuff up.
“None of this must be controversial. These should not be Republican rules or Democratic rules. They are American rules. But at this second, this president and people who allow him, have proven they do not consider in this stuff.
“Tonight, I am asking you to believe in Joe and Kamala’s ability to lead this country out of these dark times and build it back better. But here’s the thing: no single American can fix this country alone. Not even a president. Democracy was never meant to be transactional – you give me your vote; I make everything better. It requires an active and informed citizenry. So I am also asking you to believe in your own ability – to embrace your own responsibility as citizens – to make sure that the basic tenets of our democracy endure.
“Because that is what at stake proper now. Our democracy.
“Look, I understand why a lot of Americans are down on government. The way the rules have been set up and abused in Congress make it easier for special interests to stop progress than to make progress. Believe me, I know. I understand why a white factory worker who’s seen his wages cut or his job shipped overseas might feel like the government no longer looks out for him, and why a Black mom might feel like it never looked out for her at all. I understand why a new immigrant might look around this country and wonder whether there’s still a place for him here; why a young person might look at politics right now, the circus of it all, the meanness and the lies and conspiracy theories and think, what’s the point?
“Well, this is the level: this president and people in energy – those that profit from preserving issues the approach they’re – they’re counting in your cynicism. They know they can not win you over with their insurance policies. So they’re hoping to make it as arduous as doable so that you can vote, and to persuade you that your vote does not matter. That’s how they win. That’s how they get to maintain making selections that have an effect on your life, and the lives of the folks you like. That’s how the economic system will maintain getting skewed to the rich and well-connected, how our well being methods will let extra folks fall by way of the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, till it is no democracy at all.
“And we cannot let that happen. Do not let them take away your power. Do not let them take away your democracy. Make a plan right now for how you’re going to get involved and vote. Do it as early as you can and tell your family and friends how they can vote too. Do what Americans have done for over two centuries when faced with even tougher times than this – all those quiet heroes who found the courage to keep marching, keep pushing in the face of hardship and injustice.
“Last month, we misplaced an enormous of American democracy in John Lewis. Some years in the past, I sat down with John and the few remaining leaders of the early Civil Rights Movement. One of them advised me he by no means imagined he’d stroll into the White House and see a president who appeared like his grandson. Then he advised me that he’d appeared it up, and it turned out that on the very day that I used to be born, he was marching into a jail cell, making an attempt to finish Jim Crow segregation in the South.
“What we do echoes through the generations.
“Whatever our backgrounds, we’re all the kids of Americans who fought the good battle. Great grandparents working in firetraps and sweatshops with out rights or illustration. Farmers dropping their desires to mud. Irish and Italians and Asians and Latinos advised to return the place you got here from. Jews and Catholics, Muslims and Sikhs, made to really feel suspect for the approach they worshipped. Black Americans chained and whipped and hanged. Spit on for making an attempt to take a seat at lunch counters. Beaten for making an attempt to vote.
“If anyone had a right to believe that this democracy did not work, and could not work, it was those Americans. Our ancestors. They were on the receiving end of a democracy that had fallen short all their lives. They knew how far the daily reality of America strayed from the myth. And yet, instead of giving up, they joined together and said somehow, some way, we are going to make this work. We are going to bring those words, in our founding documents, to life.
“I’ve seen that very same spirit rising these previous few years. Folks of all ages and background who packed metropolis facilities and airports and rural roads in order that households would not be separated. So that one other classroom would not get shot up. So that our youngsters will not develop up on an uninhabitable planet. Americans of all races becoming a member of collectively to declare, in the face of injustice and brutality at the fingers of the state, that Black Lives Matter, no extra, however no much less, in order that no youngster on this nation feels the persevering with sting of racism.
“To the young people who led us this summer, telling us we need to be better – in so many ways, you are this country’s dreams fulfilled. Earlier generations had to be persuaded that everyone has equal worth. For you, it’s a given – a conviction. And what I want you to know is that for all its messiness and frustrations, your system of self-government can be harnessed to help you realize those convictions.
“You can provide our democracy new which means. You can take it to a greater place. You’re the lacking ingredient – the ones who will determine whether or not or not America turns into the nation that totally lives as much as its creed.
“That work will continue long after this election. But any chance of success depends entirely on the outcome of this election. This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes for them to win. So we have to get busy building it up – by pouring all our efforts into these 76 days, and by voting like never before – for Joe and Kamala, and candidates up and down the ticket, so that we leave no doubt about what this country we love stands for – today and for all our days to come.
“Stay protected. God bless.”