Former US president Barack Obama has accused his successor Donald Trump of focusing on feeding his ego, saying he did not take the significant problem of the coronavirus pandemic seriously and had time to worry about other things.
Making the last pitch on Saturday to get his former vice-president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden elected as the next occupant of the White House, Obama during rallies in Michigan said Trump in the last four years has not shown any interest in helping any of his countrymen except himself.
“President Trump is focused on feeding his ego, while the Democratic presidential candidate Biden focused on decency and empathy,” Obama said.
Obama, who was the 44th US president, blasted Trump for his policies and rhetoric.
“He hasn’t shown any interest in doing the work or helping anybody but himself or his friends or treating the presidency as anything more than a reality show to give him the attention that he craves. But unfortunately, the rest of us have to live with the consequences,” he said.
Obama was joined by Biden at both the Flint and Detroit rallies in Michigan, a battleground state.
“I can tell you that the presidency doesn’t change who you are. It shows who are you. It reveals who you are. And for eight years, Joe was the last one in the room when I made a big decision,” he said.
Obama praised 77-year-old Biden and said: “Biden is my brother. I love Joe Biden. And he will be a great president and he treats everyone with dignity and with respect”.
“That sense of decency and empathy, the belief in hard work and family and faith, the belief that everyone counts, that is who Joe is and that is who he will be as president,” Obama said.
Biden “made me a better president,” he added.
“He has got the character and the experience to make us a better country. And he and Kamala (Harris) are going to be in the fight, not for themselves, but for every single one of us. And we sure can’t say that about the President we have got right now,” he said.
Obama, 59, alleged that Trump,74, is doing a reality show in the White House.
“You know when a country is going through a pandemic that’s not what you’re supposed to be worrying about,” he said.
“And that’s the difference between Biden and Trump right there. Trump cares about feeding his ego. Joe cares about keeping you and your family safe. And he’s less interested in feeding his ego with having big crowds than he is making sure he’s not going around making more and more people sick. That’s what you should expect from a president,” he asserted.
“What is his obsession, by the way, with crowd size? You notice that? This is the one measure he has of success. He’s still worried about his inauguration crowd being smaller than mine. It really bugged him. He’s still talking about that. Did nobody come to his birthday party when he was a kid? Is he traumatized? What’s with crowds?” he asked.
“The lifeblood of a campaign is not rallies, it’s not TV ads, it is people willing to, you know, take a clipboard, talk to their neighbours and talk to their friends and talk to their co-workers. Let folks know what the stakes are. And this kind of grassroots work and organising. Makes all the difference especially in an election, like this, where the stakes are so high,” Obama said.
Obama said there was a need to revive the pandemic-hit economy again and it could be done well once Biden was elected.
“We know that change is possible, but it’s not guaranteed. And if we care deeply about restoring a sense of decency to our federal government, a government that’s going to look out for ordinary people, that is gonna take this pandemic seriously and get on top of it so we can not only save lives, but also make our economy healthy again,” he said.
“If we want a nation that is living up to its values, and its ideals so that, we set an example for the world. If we care about climate change and making sure that our criminal justice system is free of racial bias. Then we’re gonna have to work for it. And we’ve just got a few more days to make that happen,” he added.
Obama said Biden understands his responsibilities.
“And the other person who makes me hopeful is somebody I served with for eight years. Was in the room before I made any big decision, a person of character, a person of decency, a person of kindness.
“A person who understands the solemn responsibilities you take on when you become president of the US, somebody who’s going to put you first. My friend, I could not be prouder to support him, and I could not be prouder. I hope in a few days to be able to call him Mr President,” Obama said.