Former U.S. President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail on Wednesday after attacking Donald Trump on Wednesday, less than two weeks before he was due to go for an interview with Democratic nominee Joe Biden ahead of Republican presidential election day.
Speaking at a drive-in rally in Philadelphia on behalf of his former vice president Biden, Obama was even more critical of his successor, targeting Trump’s divisive rhetoric and his track record at the Oval Office.
“He was not interested in working or helping anyone other than himself,” Obama said.
Obama, who has twice ruled and is one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party, blew up Trump for managing the coronavirus epidemic, claiming the president himself was infected with the virus.
“Donald Trump is suddenly going to save us all,” he said. “He can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself.”
Obama’s appearance has filled the vacancy left by Biden’s home in Delaware since Monday for meetings and preparations ahead of Thursday’s talks with Trump in Nashville, Ted.
The drive-in rally took place in the parking lot of Citizens Bank Park, a baseball stadium in Philadelphia, visible across the city’s skyline. It was the biggest event Biden campaigned for amid the spread of the coronavirus.
Nearly 280 vehicles were spread across the lot, with large screens placed for attendees to see the former president.
With a recent Reuters / Ipsos poll showing Biden with a margin of just 4 percentage points in Pennsylvania, Obama warned Democrats against complacency.
“We have to change like never before,” he said. “We can leave no doubt in this election.”
Four years ago, Obama rallied in Philadelphia with then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The Biden campaign places a high priority on winning there.
With concerns about the coronavirus and the fact that 42 million ballots were cast by mail and in person before the Nov. 3 election to make sure their votes are counted, Americans are voting at a record level earlier this year.
According to the University of Florida’s US Elections Project, it represents 30 percent of the total ballots registered in 2016.
After Obama spoke, Trump held a rally in North Carolina, another battlefield state where opinion polls show a tough race.
Biden’s running colleague Kamala Harris is also in North Carolina to mobilize voters in Asheville and Charlotte.
Although Wednesday marks the start of Obama’s 2020 campaign, Biden desperately needs his support. He has appeared in joint fundraising with Biden and Harris, and his well-connected network of former aides has been instrumental in helping the campaign overcome Trump in raising donations.
The Biden campaign is hopeful that Obama will stick to more programs before the election.
New cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations in war-torn states including North Carolina and Pennsylvania are in the final days of propaganda between Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan.
Pennsylvania registered an average of 1,500 new cases per day last week, a level not seen since April, Reuters analysis said. North Carolina recorded an average of 2,000 new cases per day last week, the highest level ever. The virus has killed more than 221,000 people in the United States.
Polling shows that the majority of voters are frustrated with the way Trump has handled the epidemic, which he has repeatedly said will disappear by itself.
Biden and Trump will meet in their second and final debate on Thursday night, giving Republicans a chance to change the race trajectory that Biden is leading in the national election.