After a rocky start for Democrats this week, President Barack Obama hit the campaign trail on Tuesday, delivering an impassioned speech that denounced Donald Trump as a counterfeit candidate unrepresentative of working-class values. It was the president’s first solo appearance in support of Hillary Clinton, who is recovering from her recent bout with pneumonia.
“I keep on reading this analysis that Trump’s got support from working folks—really?” Obama said at a rally in Philadelphia. “This is the guy you want to be championing working people? This guy who spent 70 years on this Earth showing no concern for working people? This guy’s suddenly going to be your champion?”
“He spent most of his life trying to stay as far away from working people as he could.”
The president also expressed his frustrations with the media’s coverage of the GOP nominee, which he described as “frivolous.” The criticism comes the week after Matt Lauer’s widely panned forum on national security with both Clinton and Trump, after which the longtime NBC host was slammed for failing to challenge Trump’s false claim that he was against the Iraq War before it started.
“You don’t grade the presidency on a curve,” Obama said. “This is serious business, and when we see folks talking about transparency, you’ve got one candidate in this race who’s released decades worth of her tax returns. The other candidate is the first in decades who refuses to release any at all.”
The president also paused to take a little credit for the numbers in the newest Census report released earlier in the day that showed the household incomes in America have sharply risen.
“Thanks, Obama” he joked.