Fired-up Obama attacks Republicans for failing to keep Trump in check
SEE ALSO :US, China trade debates persistIn a nod to the turbulence of the past week -- which saw allegations of a secret "resistance" working inside the White House -- the 57-year-old Obama poured scorn on the idea that "everything will turn out okay" because some of Trump's staff are secretly ignoring the boss's orders. "That's not how our democracy is supposed to work," Obama thundered, in reference to the revelations by investigative journalist Bob Woodward whose new book describes Trump's aides battling to rein in an angry, uninformed president. The Democratic former president assailed Republicans as "unwilling to find the backbone" to challenge Trump head-on -- accusing them instead of answering "outrageous" actions with "vague statements of disappointment." "They're not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the crazy stuff that's coming out of this White House, and then saying, 'Don't worry, we're preventing the other 10 percent,'" he said. Obama's remarks to an auditorium of college students in Illinois -- the state he represented before he won the White House -- marked the opening salvo in a series of campaign stops aimed at boosting fellow Democrats in November's midterm elections, when voters will elect much of Congress and 36 state governorships.
SEE ALSO :Trump, Macron agree on European defenseHad Democrats won control of Congress two year ago, he jeered, "instead of having 4.2 up, I believe, honestly, we'd have 4.2 down." 'You've got to vote' Having devoted most of his time since leaving office to writing his memoirs and setting up his presidential foundation in Chicago, Obama will be back in the limelight in coming weeks with campaign stops planned in California Saturday, and Ohio on Thursday. The hugely popular former first lady Michelle Obama will also be bringing star power to Democratic races in Las Vegas and Miami late this month. Democrats are hoping to ride an anti-Trump "blue wave" to take control of the House of Representatives, and are also battling for seats in the Senate. Obama's speech was a preview of the arguments he will make on the campaign trail -- partly in an attempt to reach out to voters in parts of the country he won in 2012, but which voted for Trump in 2016. The former president implored the young Illinois audience to take a stand in November, warning "our democracy depends on it." "This is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us, as citizens of the United States, need to determine just who it is that we are, just what it is that we stand for." "You've got to do more than retweet a hashtag, you've got to vote," he said.