Obama: Trump failed to take pandemic and the presidency seriously

FLINT, Michigan (AP) — Calling Joe Biden his “brother,” Barack Obama on Saturday accused Donald Trump of failing to take the coronavirus pandemic and the presidency seriously as Democrats leaned on America’s first Black president to energize Black voters in battleground Michigan on the final weekend of the 2020 campaign.

Obama, the 44th president, and Biden, his vice president who wants to be the 46th, held drive-in rallies in Flint and Detroit, predominantly Black cities where strong turnout will be essential to swing the longtime Democratic state to Biden’s column after Trump won it in 2016.

The memories of Trump’s win in Michigan and the rest of the Upper Midwest are still searing in the minds of many Democrats during this closing stretch before Tuesday’s election. That leaves Biden in the position of holding a consistent lead in the national polls and an advantage in most battlegrounds, including Michigan, yet still facing anxiety it could all slip away.

As of Saturday morning, nearly 90 million voters had already cast ballots nationwide, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Tens of millions more will vote by the time polls close on Tuesday night.

Obama said he initially hoped “for the country’s sake” that Trump “might take the job seriously. He never has.”

The former president, addressing voters in dozens of cars in a Flint high school parking lot, seized on Trump’s continued focus on the size of his campaign crowds.

“Did no one come to his birthday party when he was a kid? Was he traumatized?” Obama mocked. “The country’s going through a pandemic. That’s not what you’re supposed to be worrying about.”

Trump made an aggressive play for pivotal Pennsylvania, focusing largely on his white, working-class base. His first of four scheduled stops in Pennsylvania was in a small town in Bucks County on the eastern edge of the state.

People take pictures as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and former U.S. President Barack Obama make a stop at a canvass kickoff event at Birmingham Unitarian Church on October 31, 2020 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

Repeating what has become a consistent part of his closing message, Trump raised baseless concerns about election fraud, pointing specifically at Philadelphia, a city whose large African American population is key to Biden’s fate in the state.

“They say you have to be very, very careful — what happens in Philadelphia,” Trump charged. “Everybody has to watch.”

The president also railed against a recent Supreme Court ruling that will allow Pennsylvania to count mail ballots received as many as three days after polls close.

The extra time, Trump alleged without evidence, would allow for fraud and potentially deny him a win in the state. “What’s going on?” he asked during a late afternoon rally in Reading, Pennsylvania. “That was a very disappointing opinion, but I’ve had many disappointing opinions from the Supreme Court.”

Several studies, including one commissioned by Trump himself, have failed to uncover any significant examples of election fraud. Good-government advocacy groups are concerned that the president’s repeated calls for his supporters to monitor the polls may lead to widespread voter intimidation.

People arrive to take part in a rally for President Donald Trump on October 31, 2020 in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.(Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images/AFP)

Republicans are betting that Trump can win a second term by driving up turnout among his strongest supporters — white, noncollege-educated men and rural voters — while limiting Biden’s advantage with Blacks and Latinos. Democrats in several swing states worry that voters of color may not be excited enough about Biden to show up in the numbers they need.

In Michigan, Rep. Dan Kildee, a Democrat who represents the Flint area, said he had been pressing for a couple of months for Biden or Obama to visit the majority Black city where a water crisis that began in 2014 sickened the city’s residents, exposing stark racial inequities.

“Showing up matters,” Kildee said. “The message is important, no question about it. But there’s a message implicit in showing up, especially in Flint. This is a community that has felt left behind many, many times and overlooked many, many times.”

R&B legend Stevie Wonder was to perform in Detroit after Biden and Obama speak.

Biden’s campaign announced it was sending Obama to Florida and Georgia on Monday. He is the campaign’s most valuable asset to help energize the nonwhite voters Democrats so badly need to defeat Trump. “Joe Biden is my brother. I love Joe Biden, and he will be a great president,” Obama said Saturday.

A man arrives to take part in a rally for President Donald Trump on October 31, 2020 in Montoursville, Pennsylvania. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images/AFP)

The press for Michigan’s Black voters comes after voting was down roughly 15% in Flint and Detroit four years ago — a combined 48,000-plus votes in a state Trump carried by about 10,700 votes. Overall, the Black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, falling to 59.6% in 2016 after reaching a record-high 66.6% four years earlier, according to the Pew Research Center.

Trump isn’t ceding Michigan to Biden. He visited Waterford Township, near Detroit, on Friday and held a rally in the state capital, Lansing, this past week, though the surging coronavirus cases are clouding his presidency.

The worst week of the year, in terms of new infections, arrived with Election Day looming. More than 99,000 Americans reported new infections on Friday, a record high, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Trump told Pennsylvania voters that his administration has done “an incredible job” dealing with the pandemic. He promised that the mass distribution of a vaccine was “just weeks away.” He’s been saying that since August,

Biden has focused almost exclusively on Trump’s inability to control the pandemic. “We’re gonna beat this virus and get it under control and the first step to doing that is beating Donald Trump,” Biden said after Obama spoke in Flint.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden puts his arm around his granddaughter Maisy Biden during a canvass kickoff event on October 31, 2020 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

With the campaign down to the final days, Trump’s closing sprint includes, in addition to the four stops in Pennsylvania, nearly a dozen events in the final 48 hours across states he carried in 2016.

Biden will close out his campaign on Monday in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born and the one he’s visited more than any other. The Biden team announced that the candidate, his wife, Jill, running mate Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff, plan to “fan out across all four corners of the state.”

If Saturday was any indication, the final 72 hours of the 2020 campaign will get nasty.

Speaking in Flint, Michigan, Biden joked of Trump, “When you were in high school, wouldn’t you have liked to take a shot?”

The Democrat then mocked the president as a “macho man” and called him “weak.”

Biden’s reference to “taking a shot” at Trump was reminiscent of remarks Biden made at least twice before indicating he’d fight the president if both were younger. Trump, too, on Saturday suggested he could beat up Biden if given the chance and suggested the former vice president wears sunglasses to cover up “surgery on the eyes.”

“Remember when he said he’d like to take me to the back of the barn?” Trump asked.

He then waved his hand, suggesting he could easily topple Biden.

“He’s not a big guy,” Trump said of his Democratic opponent. “A slight slap, you wouldn’t have to close your fist.”

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One Response to “Obama: Trump failed to take pandemic and the presidency seriously”

  1. goldfinger999 says:

    OBAMA’S FRIEND AYERS:
    KILL 25,000,000 AMERICANS
    by William F. Jasper October 31, 2008

    In recent weeks, a number of websites have posted text, audio, or video of an interview with Larry Grathwohl from the 1982 video documentary No Place to Hide: The Strategy and Tactics of Terrorism by the Western Goals Foundation. I worked on that video as a researcher and went undercover into some of the terrorist groups and their support networks. Larry Grathwohl was one of the experts/witnesses we interviewed for the documentary. He had been undercover inside the Weather Underground and had worked closely with Ayers, Dohrn, and their fellow terrorists.

    In No Place to Hide, Grathwohl explains that the Weathermen actually believed that they would be successful in overthrowing the U.S. government and that, with the help of the Cubans, Chinese, Russians, and North Vietnamese, they would occupy America. Americans would have to be “re-educated” in camps, similar to what the communists did in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and other countries they had taken over. Here is one of the chilling revelations Larry Grathwohl made in the film:

    I asked, “Well what is going to happen to those people we can’t reeducate, that are diehard capitalists?”
    And the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated.
    And when I pursued this further, they estimated they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these re-education centers.
    And when I say “eliminate,” I mean “kill.”
    Twenty-five million people.

    I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people and they were dead serious.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWMIwziGrAQ

    On October 28, Bob Owens of pajamasmedia.com published a recent interview he had conducted with Grathwohl, expanding on his statements in No Place to Hide 26 years ago.

    Here is a portion of the interview, which can be read in entirety at pajamasmedia.com.
    Pajamas Media:
    You stated in your interview in No Place to Hide that you wanted us to “imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.” A lot of people have now had the opportunity to listen to you and contemplate the horrors these people planned. Can you recall who these people are by name, and who the ringleaders of this plan were?

    Larry Grathwohl:
    Conversations regarding this occurred in Cincinnati, Detroit, Flint, and Buffalo. Participants included Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Mark Rudd, Linda Evans, Jeff Jones, and many others.

    Pajamas Media:
    Was this merely an academic matter to them, or were they serious about killing 25 million Americans that would not bend to their political will?

    Larry Grathwohl:
    I suppose you could consider this a purely academic discussion in that the Weathermen never had the opportunity to implement their political ends. However, I can assure you that this was not the case. There was an absolute belief that they, along with the international revolutionary movement, would cause the collapse of the United States and that they would be in charge. Nixon was of great concern and how his end would be conducted. This may sound absurd in today’s context, but the Weatherman believed they would succeed….

    Pajamas Media:
    Scattered news accounts on the Internet note that you were instrumental in foiling Weather Underground attacks in February of 1970, in Detroit. The Weathermen built two bombs targeting the Detroit Police Officers’ Association (DPOA) building and the 13th Precinct. Were the goals of these attacks symbolic property damage as were some other Weathermen attacks, or were these targets selected to kill police officers?

    Larry Grathwohl:
    The instructions I received from Billy Ayers was that the bombs to be used in Detroit must have shrapnel (fence staples, specifically) and fire potential (propane bottles). The intention was to kill police officers….

    Pajamas Media:
    One of the Detroit bombs was to be placed on the side of the DPOA building, and the blast was likely to cause damage to the adjacent Red Barn Restaurant, which had mostly African-American customers. Who ordered the attack, and what did he say when you told him that innocent civilians would be killed?

    Larry Grathwohl:
    When I objected to Billy Ayers that more innocent people would be killed in the restaurant, he replied, “Innocent people have to die in a revolution.” Billy also acknowledged during a criticism session in Buffalo that Bernadine placed the bomb at the Park Police Station which resulted in the death of Police Officer McDonnell.
    Pajamas Media:
    Bill Ayers came out of hiding around 1980, became a college professor, and has served on numerous boards and foundations. Do you think he’s changed in his radicalism?

    Larry Grathwohl:
    Has Billy changed? I hardly think so.
    After a decade of bombings and life on the run as a fugitive terrorist, Ayers decided to resurface. Due to technicalities, he got off scot-free. Ayers remains completely unrepentant and is, among other things, an avid fan of Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez, whose guest he has been — more than once. In an interview with journalists David Horowitz and Peter Collier (who were comrades of his in SDS [Students for a Democratic Society], but have since converted to the right) Ayers exulted: “Guilty as hell, free as a bird — America is a great country.” In a 2001 New York Times interview he said: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.”
    Ayers and his former SDS and Weather Undergound comrades are now training a new generation of “activists” through New Students for a Democratic Society (NSDS), ACORN, and other militant leftist groups that are backing Obama.
    For information about the Obama-Ayers connection, see William F. Jasper’s article:
    OBAMA’S TERRORIST TIES & RADICAL ROOTS
    by William F. Jasper October 27, 2008

    For the past year, Barack Obama and his cheerleaders in the media have been trying to smother the story of Obama’s longtime close association with Ayers and Dohrn, who are now “education reformers” in Chicago.

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