Philadelphia, Sep 14 (IANS) US President Barack Obama on Tuesday hit the campaign trail on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate — and his former Secretary of State — Hillary Clinton, going on to harshly criticise her Republican rival, Donald Trump.
“I could not be prouder of the leader we have nominated to take my place. So even though I’ve run my last campaign, I’m going to work as hard as I can this fall to elect Hillary Clinton as our next President,” EFE news quoted Obama as saying in a speech before the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Obama showed up at a campaign rally almost like a teen pop star to shouts of “I love you” from attendees, although Clinton was not on hand, given that she is still recovering from a fainting spell last Sunday caused by pneumonia and becoming overheated at a 9/11 memorial ceremony.
“I am really into electing Hillary Clinton. This is not me going through the motions here,” Obama said at the rally. “Sometimes folks are kind of surprised by that because they remember, man, you guys had a tough (presidential primaries) fight eight years ago. Every time I thought I was ahead, it was like climbing up the … steps in the movie ‘Rocky’.”
He also said that the measures he had taken during his administration are having results, but “everybody” knew that change was not going to come overnight and could not be accomplished in just one presidency, and so now he is working to elect Clinton to carry on his work.
“We have one candidate who … has more qualifications than pretty much anyone who has ever run for this job,” he said, going on to contrast the vision of a “steady and true” Clinton presidency with Trump, who he said “isn’t fit in any way, shape or form to represent this country abroad and be its Commander in Chief”.
“I keep on reading … that Trump’s got support from working folks. Really? This is the guy you want to be championing working people? The guy who spent 70 years on this earth showing no concern for working peoplem,” the President asked.
Obama said, “He wasn’t going to let you on his golf course, He wasn’t going to let you buy into his condo. And now he wants to be your champion?”
Voter surveys continue to show Clinton is leading Trump in Pennsylvania, considered to be a crucial state in the November election and which in the last six presidential contests has gone for the Democrats, EFE news added.
Trump was also scheduled to campaign in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, hoping to garner votes from those who are discontented with the country’s industrial reconversion and manufacturing crisis, which has economically displaced many middle class families.
The President said that Trump’s brand of conservatism is very different from that of President Ronald Reagan. “(Reagan) called America a shining city on a hill. Donald Trump calls it a divided crime scene,” he remarked, adding that the mogul’s campaign is “not offering serious solutions. They’re just fanning resentment and blame and anger and hate. And that is not the America we know”.
He also noted that Trump has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and is “saying (Putin is) a strong leader because he invades smaller countries, jails his opponents, controls the press, and drives his economy into a long recession”.
On the other hand, he said he saw firsthand how Clinton — as Secretary of State — lobbied in favour of the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden, opened diplomatic channels and promoted democracy, worked tirelessly and flew all over the world in pursuit of US foreign policy goals.