"This is not normal".
Barack Obama delivered a very passionate speech meant to remind the citizens that they need to defend and protect Democracy and that voting is a big part of what they can actively do to achieve that. Obama's latest foray into politics is likely to ignite Republicans, including Trump. "We're sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers! How hard can that be, saying Nazis are bad?"
The only thing they have to do, Obama said, is "show up".
Obama also addressed Trump's tone-deaf comments a year ago, when the president claimed that there were "some very fine people on both sides" during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that saw white supremacists squaring off against anti-racism protesters.
Obama was editing his first public speech of the 2018 midterms on the plane, an aide to the former president tells CNN, scribbling notes and crossing out lines on a printed copy.
"There is no one else in the Democratic Party that is able to focus people's attention on an issue the way that he can", said Patrick Rodenbush, the communications director for the Holder group, for which Obama recently sat to shoot a promotional video.
"These people are not elected!" They are not accountable. "We are preventing the other 10%'".
The former president explained he planned on following the precedent set by George Washington "to gracefully exit" the political stage, but speaks now as a citizen.
Republicans said voters won't find Obama's argument appealing.
In a notable moment that seemed made for a split screen television, nearly at the same time Obama was issuing these remarks, Trump was telling reporters on Air Force One he wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the anonymous author of the op-ed.
"Even if you don't agree with me or Democrats on policy".
"Do not let people tell you the fight's not worth it because you won't get everything that you want".
Trump says: "I'm sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep".
Obama, who had frustrated some Democrats by keeping a relatively low profile since leaving office in January 2017, accused Republicans of being unwilling to safeguard democracy or offer a check on Trump's policies or worst instincts. "A fear, an anger that is rooted in our past but is also borne in our enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes".
Obama stepped back into the political fray Friday, delivering a speech at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign. But his remarks are the clearest sign yet he plans to ramp up his involvement.
Obama will hit the campaign trail on Saturday, appearing at a campaign event in Southern California before heading to OH next week and to IL and Pennsylvania later in the month.
The decision by the most recognizable figure in the Democratic Party could energize his supporters, but it also comes with the risk of motivating Republicans to head to the polls.
Trump has consistently used Obama as a foil on Twitter to energize his voters, while Democratic incumbent senators are struggling for reelection in states where Obama has never been particularly popular.
The timing of the speech produced a remarkable split-screen, where all three cable news networks carried Obama's remarks live at the same time Trump made comments aboard Air Force One that underlined his predecessor's concerns.