In a sharp and at times emotional convention speech address Wednesday, former President Barack Obama breaks out of his political cage and call his successor Donald Trump an existential threat to America’s democracy. A remark presidential historians referred to as unprecedented.
No former President has ever attacked his incumbent successor at a convention like Barack Obama tonight, or even come close.— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) August 20, 2020
As millions of Americans tuned in to this star-studded virtual Democratic convention, Barack Obama, one of the most prominent Democratic figure, delivered a message that was both fierce and straightforward and on top of all, as the man that he is known for, controversial and tradition-breaker.
It was essential. It is what the moment demands. This is not like any other time in our history. Trump poses a threat like no other president has in our history. It had to be addressed and @BarackObama rose magnificently to the occasion.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) August 20, 2020
The former US President, live from Philadelphia, attacked the current administration headed by the Republican President, something that presidential historians have not heard and seen for the longest time. It has been a tradition in every political convention that former presidents do not criticize their successor, but Obama could no longer bite his tongue and lashes out on Trump by calling his leadership failure and his inability to address issues hurting the country and causing suffering to the Americans. A move that showed his lack of hope and confidence to man eyeing for a second term to the office he once held, he added that "this administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that's what it takes to win. So we have to get busy building it up." He believes that the American people deserve a president who will safeguard its democracy regardless of his “ego, ambition, or political beliefs, he will preserve, protect, and defend the freedoms and ideals that so many Americans marched for and went to jail for; fought for and died for.”
Obama recognized that the current administration may not embrace the vision he once exhibited and continue his policies during his days in office, but he did hope that somehow, Trump might show interest in taking the responsibility seriously at the White House, but he never did. In a disappointing tone, Obama said Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't. He described the four-year stint of Trump as a reality show where his close friends and political allies have benefited more from his power as the president than the rest of the American people.
He called out the young people in his address, who have shown respect and courage to speak out against police brutality by flooding the streets of American cities to protest in this systemic racial injustice. He referred them as the main ingredient for democracy to have its new meaning and as heirs to the legacy of the late civil right leader Georgia Rep. John Lewis to a nation that is weary and anxious. He urged Americans to vote and take part in this upcoming election as the current president continue to threaten mail-in voting and attack press freedom to secure his seat at the White House. "This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that's what it takes to win. So we have to get busy building it up -- by pouring all our effort into these 76 days, and by voting like never before.”
Everyone depends on the USPS. Seniors for their Social Security, veterans for their prescriptions, small businesses trying to keep their doors open. They can't be collateral damage for an administration more concerned with suppressing the vote than suppressing a virus.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 14, 2020
If you're in a state where you have the option to vote early, do that now. The more votes in early, the less likely you're going to see a last minute crunch, both at polling places and in states where mail-in ballots are permitted. Then tell everyone you know.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 14, 2020
The Democrats know that having the former president endorse and back up Joe Biden and Kamala Harris plays a significant role in this 2020 campaign. Obama emphasized that with the Biden-Harris team up, the country will be in the right direction for the people of color, young and old, men and women of America by restoring our standing in the world.
.@JoeBiden made me a better president. I’m asking you to believe in his and Kamala’s ability to help make us a better country. More importantly, I’m asking you to believe in your own and to help them, in this election and beyond. https://t.co/YYEAFxx4nW— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 20, 2020
I’ve known Senator @KamalaHarris for a long time. She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing. pic.twitter.com/duJhFhWp6g— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 11, 2020
Donald Trump, on the same night, rebuttal on Obama’s comments on his Twitter account:
HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2020