Donald Trump has reignited his feud with Barack Obama, mocking the former president‘s 2016 campaign efforts for the then-Democratic nominee, Hilary Clinton in a rambling Wednesday night address that had racist undertones.
“You know Obama’s now campaigning,” Mr Trump, told thousands of his supporters crammed into the Gastonia Municipal Airport in North Carolina, a key battleground state the president must win to get reelected. “Oh, here we go,” he added.
Mr Obama, 59, returned to the campaign stump in support of his former vice president and current Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, 77, holding a socially distanced drive-in rally in Philadelphia on Wednesday, where he launched a blistering attack on Mr Trump’s record in office.
“It’s good,” Mr Trump said in response to Mr Obama’s return. “There was nobody that campaigned harder for crooked Hillary Clinton than Obama, right?” Senator Clinton lost the 2016 election to president Trump.
“He refused to support Biden,” Mr Trump claimed. Mr Obama did not endorse Mr Biden until he was the presumptive nominee, which is standard practise in the Democratic party.
Mr Obama campaigned heavily for senator Clinton during the 2016 election but has made relatively few appearances during this election, presumably because of the coronavirus pandemic. He returned to the trail in Citizens Bank Park, a baseball stadium, with less than two weeks to go until the 3 November poll.
President Trump has attempted to frame Mr Obama’s reluctance late return to campaigning as evidence that he is not fully behind his colleague, who he spent two terms in office with.
Attempting to fire up his base in a state where the polls show a tight race between the two presidential candidates, Mr Trump said Mr Obama “was all over the place,” while campaigning for senator Clinton in 2016.
With thousands of Make America Great Again supporters booing all aroud him, the president repeatedly used Mr Obama’s second name, Hussein, in another text book example of the sort of dog whistle racism that has come to define his reelection camapaign.
The president also dredged up one of his first grievances with Mr Obama by again falsely claiming that more people attended his inauguration in January 2017.
“I said, I think the word we used was audience that included all of the new things, you know, all of the different things,” he said, adding: “I think we had the largest audience anywhere in the world.”
Mr Trump claimed that photos of the event were taken five or six hours before he gave his address, but time stamps on the images showed this was not the case.
Mr Obama is expected to campaign for his former VP again on Saturday at a rally in Miami. Mr Biden has kept a low profile in recent days and was yesterday preparing for the third and final presidential debate on Thursday.
America’s gaping political divide will be laid bare again on Thursday night as the two presidential candidates go head-to-head live on NBC to set out their competing visions for the country.
They will be grilled on some of the most important issues facing Americans, such as the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed some 220,000 US lives.