The Biden campaign announced Friday that President Obama will join the campaign trail for the first time next week to campaign on behalf of his former vice president. Mr. Obama will travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, October 21, according to the campaign.
Mr. Obama has largely stayed away from the 2020 presidential race, but did make an appearance at the virtual Democratic National Convention in August. Mr. Obama praised Biden in a speech on the third night of the convention, and offered a rare rebuke of President Trump.
“I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president. I never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care,” Mr. Obama said. “But he never did.”
His critical words, then months out from the election, could offer a glimpse of what’s to come when he speaks Wednesday night, when less than two weeks will remain before Election Day.
“For close to four years now, he’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves,” said Mr. Obama at the Democratic National Convention about Mr. Trump. “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe.”
Mr. Obama urged voters to cast their ballots, and early, in a new ad for the DNC shared on YouTube this week.
“Millions of Americans are already voting. Make sure you stand up and join them,” he says in the ad. “There will always be reasons to think your vote doesn’t matter. That’s not new. What is new is a growing movement for justice, equality and progress on so many issues.”
Mr. Trump won the state in 2016, with onlookers noting how his economic message resonated with working class and non-college-educated workers in the Northeast region that Biden originally hails from.
As of October 11, Biden leads the state, 52% to Trump’s 46%, according to CBS News’ Battleground Tracker that shows where races stand based on CBS polling and analysis.
Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.
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