For one night, we were reminded of what it was like for the US to have a normal president.
At a drive-in rally for Joe Biden in Philadelphia, former president Barack Obama made an appearance to give an impassioned speech in support of his former VP. He also memorably and mercilessly roasted Donald Trump over his response to the coronavirus, his handling of the economy and his tweets. Here are some of Obama’s best takedowns the president.
He criticised Trump for treating the presidency like a “reality show”.
Speaking about the end of his presidency, Obama acknowledged that he didn’t think Trump would “embrace his vision”, but hoped that he would at least take the job seriously. Clearly, the president didn’t meet his expectations:
He hasn’t shown any interest in doing the work or helping anybody but himself and his friends. Or treating the presidency like a reality show that he can use to get attention. And by the way, even then, his TV ratings are down, so you know that upsets him. But the thing is this is not a reality show, this is reality.
President Trump has treated the presidency "like a reality show that he can use to get attention," former President… https://t.co/eoiD8QLQst
The former president also took a jab at Trump’s “secret” Chinese bank account, and pointed out the double standard if he was also caught with one:
How is that possible? A secret Chinese bank account? Can you imagine if I had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for re-election. You think Fox News might’ve been a little concerned about that? They would’ve called me ‘Beijing Barry’.
It was also revealed that Trump has paid almost $200,000 in taxes to China. While back in the US, he only paid $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017.
“Can you imagine if I had had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for re-election?! ... They would’ve… https://t.co/Xu0PuOEYmf
Trump’s handling of the economy was a major topic in Obama’s speech, as he called out the president for wanting “full credit for the economy that he inherited, and 0 blame for the pandemic he ignored.”
He also didn’t shy away from exposing how bad the US economy has become since Trump entered the Oval Office, pointing out that he will be the “first president since Herbert Hoover to actually lose jobs.” He also noted that more jobs were created in the final three years of the Obama administration than in the first three years of the current administration.
Obama: "The economic damage [Trump] inflicted by botching the pandemic response means he'll be the first president… https://t.co/Amw7AcDnUi
He promised that a Biden presidency wouldn’t break up your family.
Obama made possibly the greatest case to note vote for Trump: that you can breathe easy again and not worry about what he might say every second of the day.
With Joe and Kamala at the helm, you’re not going to have to think about the crazy things they said everyday. And that's worth a lot. You’re not going to have to argue about them everyday. It just won’t be so exhausting. You might be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner without having an argument. You’ll be able to go about your lives knowing that the president is not going to retweet conspiracy theories.
He reminded everyone that he had a pandemic plan.
Imagine a hypothetical situation where the US actually mobilised a proper pandemic response. Well, according to Obama, he basically handed the Trump administration a guide to handling the virus, which they ignored of course:
We literally left this White House a pandemic playbook that would have shown them how to respond before the virus reached our shores. They probably used it to, I don't know, prop up a wobbly table somewhere.
Obama: "We literally left this White House a pandemic playbook that would have shown them how to respond before the… https://t.co/sROnLoJ0Z5
The US has never had a president quite like Donald Trump, who refuses to follow every rule of basic etiquette and common sense. Obama is having none of it:
[With Joe Biden], you’re not going to have a president that goes out of his way to insult anybody who doesn’t support him, or threaten them with jail. That’s not normal presidential behaviour. We wouldn’t tolerate it from a high school principal. We wouldn’t tolerate it from a coach. We wouldn’t tolerate it from a co-worker.
And if the past four years of divisions aren’t evidence enough, the former president urges everyone to recognise the consequences of Trump’s actions:
They embolden other people to be cruel and divisive and racist, and it frays the fabric of our society. And it affects how our children see things, and it affects the ways our families get along. It affects how the world looks at America. That behavior matters. Character matters.
Obama: "There are consequences to [Trump's] actions. They embolden other people to be cruel & divisive & racist & i… https://t.co/4tZyU3ITEH