In a forceful rebuke of President Trump and his GOP enablers, former President Barack Obama gave an animated speech today at the University of Illinois, proving he is ready and willing to exert his influence to galvanize progressive voters in the lead up to November’s critical midterm elections.
The one-time community organizer used his notable gift of oration and implored students to get out and vote, setting up the election as a defining moment for the direction of the country. In one of the speech’s more timely soundbites, Obama blasted his successor’s fierce and frequent attacks on the press. He noted that he, too, had high-profile detractors, but while most presidents grumble about the media’s adversarial role, none have matched Trump’s incendiary rhetoric. “I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them enemies of the people,” he said.
Poignantly, his comments come on the same day that President Trump—citing “national security”—suggested the DOJ use its investigatory resources to unmask the identity of an anonymous White House official who wrote an op-ed in the New York Times this week.
Obama, it should be noted, was no free-press saint. His administration significantly increased prosecutions for alleged national security leaks, something that earned him much criticism from civil rights groups like the ACLU.
You can watch the clip below. I also urge you to check out the full speech here.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 7, 2018