Former President Barack Obama re-entered the national political debate on Friday with a scathing indictment of President Trump, assailing his successor as a “threat to our democracy” and a demagogue practicing the “politics of fear and resentment.”
Sometimes by name, sometimes by inference, he accused him of cozying up to Russia, emboldening white supremacists and dividing the nation.
“None of this is conservative,” Obama told an auditorium of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “That’s not what [Lincoln] had in mind … when he helped form the Republican Party. It’s not conservative. It sure isn’t normal. It’s radical. It’s a vision that says the protection of our power and those who back us is all that matters even when it hurts the country.”
Trump wasted no time in responding. Speaking to supporters at a fund-raiser in Fargo, North Dakota, he dismissed Obama’s speech. “I’m sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep,” he said. “I found he’s very good, very good for sleeping.” At a later stop in South Dakota, he said Obama’s re-emergence would motivate his base.
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