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Obama demands return to 'sanity' in politics in second swipe at Trump

Obama demands return to 'sanity' in politics in second swipe at Trump

In a dramatic break from the normal deference former presidents usually show to incumbents, Obama ended a long period of public reticence with a lacerating assessment of Trump.

When Obama stood in front of the IL crowd on Friday and went after Trump by name, then called on young people to vote in November to "restore some semblance of sanity to our politics", Republicans felt like he was talking to their base too.

"I'm glad it's continued, but when you hear about this economic miracle that's been going on, when the job numbers come out, monthly job numbers, and, suddenly, Republicans are saying, 'it's a miracle.' I have to kind of remind them, actually, those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016", the former president said.

"Which one of these people who says that they're trying to save the country and trying to save the president from himself ... ran for office and got elected?" he added. "He is a symptom, not the cause", he said. "He's just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years - a fear and anger that's rooted in our past but is also born out of the enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes".

Speaking to supporters at a fundraiser in Fargo, North Dakota, he dismissed Obama's speech.

He addressed the student body of the University of IL, stating that they happened to be coming of age at a time when the backlash against American progress was overwhelming, and that most of said backlash spawned from those with power and privilege who wanted to maintain their status through polarization and division.

The speech was meant to kick off a two-month campaign blitz to help Democrats take control of Congress in the November midterm elections.

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The seven candidates Obama threw his support behind are from districts that will be crucial for the Democrats if they want to oust the Republicans in California. Next week he'll be in OH to campaign for Richard Cordray and other Democrats.

But Democrats saw the president's return to the trail in another way.

When that happens, he says, people become cynical and decide not to participate in the political process - creating a vacuum that lobbyists and special interests fill.

Trump allies like Sen. Obama said: "How hard can that be?"

But he said he made a decision to speak now because "the stakes really are higher" than before.

Just one day after publicly calling out President Trump, former President Barack Obama gave a speech in California warning voters that if they did not vote in the midterm elections, it could all go downhill from here. Indeed, even as Obama was delivering his speech on Friday in Illinois, Trump was doing his best to prove it by announcing that he wants the US Justice Department to find the author.

The county's economy has evolved to more services and high-tech jobs that attract white-collar workers who are inclined to vote Democratic.