President Barack Obama said Joe Biden was inheriting a worse situation than the financial crisis the Democratic president had to deal with when he came into office in January 2009.
‘As challenging as those times were and as much of a slog as it was to yank the economy out of the economic crisis that it was in … there was still a sense of a shared American idea that we could build on,’ Obama said during a Tuesday night digital fundraiser for Biden that brought in $7.6 million for the Democrat’s campaign.
Obama said the difference now was that the Trump White House, Republicans in Congress and a ‘media structure that supports them’ has ‘gone at the very foundations of who we are and who we should be.’
‘That suggests facts don’t matter, science doesn’t matter. That suggests that a deadly disease is fake news,’ Obama said.
‘That sees the Justice Department as simply an extension and arm of the personal concerns of the president,’ he continued.
‘That actively promotes division. And considers come people in this country more real as Americans than others,’ Obama went on.
Obama characterized Biden as the perfect healer-in-chief.
‘There’s nobody I trust more to be able to heal this country and get back on track than my dear friend Joe Biden,’ the ex-president said.
Former President Barack Obama (left) made a pitch for his former vice president Joe Biden (right) on a phone call with supporters that raised $7.6 million for Biden’s campaign
Last Monday, Joe Biden announced his first virtual fundraiser with former President Obama, who he called his ‘friend and former boss.’ The Biden campaign said Tuesday in the hours leading up to the joint appearance that the event raised $4 million
Obama didn’t mention Republicans by name, though he said of his ‘predecessor,’ George W. Bush, that while they ‘disagreed on a whole host of issues’ they ‘still had a basic regard for the rule of law and the importance of our institutions.’
As for his successor, who mostly described what Obama thought Trump did wrong.
He told those listening that he was optimistic, calling the recent wave of protests frequented by young people the ‘Great Awakening,’
‘Who are saying not only are they fed up with the shambolic, disorganized, mean-spirited approach to governance that we’ve seen over the last couple of years, but more than that are eager to take on some of the core challenges that have been facing this country for centuries,’ Obama said.
He also pushed the young activists to keep going.
‘I appreciate you all being on this call but, man, this is serious business,’ the former president said. ‘Whatever you’ve done so far is not enough. And I hold myself and Michelle and my kids to the same standard,’ he offered.
He called it a ‘unique chance’ to turn awareness of inequalities in society into legislative and institutional change.
‘And those moments don’t come too often,’ Obama said.
Around 175,000 supporters took the Biden campaign up on its offer to ‘chip in any amount’ to watch the former president and vice president campaign together for the first time over Zoom.
Earlier Tuesday the campaign estimated around 120,000 would join.
Last week the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign announced a ‘grassroots’ fundraiser with Obama, who Biden called his ‘friend and former boss.’
Biden’s campaign previously had announced an $80.8 million haul in May.
It marked the first time he outraised President Trump, who brought in $74 million last month.
The Obama event was also announced on the heels of a successful pairing of Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a former Democratic rival who endorsed Biden in April, the same week Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders also joined the ex-vice president’s effort.
The Warren event brought in $6 million from 629 people. It was meant to attract higher-dollar donors.
The Biden campaign previously brought in $1 million from around 36,000 donors partnering Biden with Pete Buttigieg, another ex-2020 hopeful.
Biden’s been holding a handful of virtual fundraiser each week, while voyaging out of his Delaware home about once a week as he slowly heads back on the campaign trail as coronavirus-related lockdowns are lifted.
Biden has talked to community leaders in Wilmington and Dover, delivered a speech in Philadelphia and traveled to Houston to meet family members of the late George Floyd.
Trump’s campaign and allies have mocked the ex-vice president for hiding in his Delaware home’s basement.
‘Listen, Joe Biden has been working out of his basement and campaigning from his basement for three months,’ the Trump campaign’s Communications Director Tim Murtaugh said Monday on CNN.
‘Getting up and making a speech in front of 10 people in an empty gymnasium should not be considered reaching the bar for serving as a president of the United States,’ Murtaugh said referencing Biden’s speech on race delivered in Philadelphia. ‘He barely made it through that speech.’
But Trump has witnessed the perils of campaigning in the COVID-19 era as he got a lower than expected turnout to his Saturday night rally in Tulsa, Arizona.
On Tuesday, the president chalked it up to his supporters preferring to watch the rally speech at home.
‘The Tulsa rallies, despite all of the horrible, ominous warnings that you people put out over a period of two weeks, the crowd was wonderful. It was a great – they were warriors. It was a great crowd,’ Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for Arizona.
‘But many of them stayed home and watch television and what happened is Fox, on Saturday night, had the biggest rating in the history of Fox Television,’ Trump said.