Washington DC, Oct 21 (efe-epa).- Former United States president Barack Obama hit the campaign trail on Wednesday in support of his former vice president and now Democratic candidate for the White House, Joe Biden, with less than two weeks to go until the election.
Obama made his debut in the city of Philadelphia, the Democratic stronghold of the battleground state Pennsylvania, which he won in 2008 and 2012, but that current president Donald Trump took in 2016.
Although Biden was his vice president for eight years, Obama has kept a low profile throughout this campaign, only endorsing Biden in the primaries when his candidacy was assured.
Obama’s 2020 campaign debut on Wednesday came as more than 40 million Americans had already cast their vote.
This is in contrast with four years ago, when he campaigned extensively on behalf of then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“This is not a reality show, this is reality. And the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him (Trump) proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously,” Obama said at a rally.
Obama took a jibe at Trump for complaining the previous night that he had to campaign in Pennsylvania when it was a given he would win the state and also for having been infected with COVID-19, while also criticizing him for hiding his business dealings in China.
“We know that he continues to do business with China because he’s got a secret Chinese bank account. How is that possible?” asked Obama, adding that “it is not a great idea to have a president who owes a bunch of money to people overseas.”
“Of the taxes Donald Trump pays, he may be sending more to foreign governments than he pays in the United States,” he said, adding that he probably paid more taxes during his first job working at an ice cream parlor when he was 15 years old than the $750 Trump paid as president.
This was the first time Obama made a personal attack on Trump, something he has avoided doing since leaving office nearly four years ago, even though his successor has attacked him relentlessly.
“Eight months into this pandemic, cases are rising again across this country. Donald Trump isn’t suddenly going to protect all of us. He can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself,” Obama said.
He also poked fun at Trump for complaining about having to travel to Pennsylvania.
“I know the president spent some time in Erie last night, and apparently he complained about having to travel here. And then he cut the event short, poor guy,” Obama said.
“With Joe and Kamala (Harris) at the helm, you’re not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day. And that’s worth a lot. You’re not going to have to argue about them every day,” he added.
Wednesday’s event was the first of several rallies Obama intends to hold in the coming weeks to encourage young, Black voters to support Biden, who has not organized any events in the last three days.
Meanwhile, Trump held one of his most crowded rallies in North Carolina, another state he won in 2016 but where polls say Biden has a lead over the president, along with Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Other states that could Trump could lose, according to polls, include Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Iowa, Georgia, and even Texas.
The two candidates will debate on Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee, in the second presidential face-to-face debate, perhaps Trump’s last chance to gain ground against Biden.
More than 43 million Americans have already voted by mail or in person with 13 days still left before the presidential election on Nov. 3.
Early voting could break the record set in 2016, when 47 million people voted ahead of election day. EFE-EPA