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President Obama compared the Republican White House contenders to Internet celebrity Grumpy Cat on Friday, saying they go out of their way to see only bad news under his administration.

In a speech to the Democratic National Committee Women’s Leadership Forum meant to rally the party ahead of 2016, Obama criticized the GOP for painting a “gloomy” picture of the country for political gain.

“Overall, we are making enormous progress. And it does make you wonder why is it that Republican politicians are so down on America?” Obama said. “I mean, they are gloomy. They’re like Grumpy Cat.”

{mosads}Trying to connect with a younger generation of voters, Obama mimicked the Internet meme’s sour face, drawing a raucous reaction from the crowd.

Obama made the case for his successor to double down on his administration’s efforts to expand access to healthcare, fight for equal pay for women and cut greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

The president assailed Republicans for trying to roll back his healthcare law and Wall Street reform, and for even “thinking about shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood.”

Obama said he was “proud” of all the candidates who participated in last week’s Democratic presidential primary debate.

“People didn’t agree on everything, but they weren’t just saying crazy stuff,” he said. “They weren’t dividing the country into us and them and tapping into people’s worst impulses.”

It was the president’s first appearance on the 2016 campaign trail since Vice President Biden decided not to enter the race. He mentioned Biden, endorsing his idea that the country should embark on a “moonshot” effort to cure cancer. 

But Obama sought to remain neutral in the presidential race, even Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is widely believed to be Obama’s pick due to her close ties to the White House.

“I am going to be supporting whoever the nominee is,” Obama said, which prompted the audience to laugh. “What are you laughing about? We’ve got some great candidates.”

Clinton received a hero’s welcome when she spoke to the forum earlier Friday, one day after being grilled by Republican lawmakers for hours over the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Obama told the crowd that being engaged and voting in the next elections is critical, even though the current system benefits politicians who do outlandish things to get attention, an apparent dig at the Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

‘We’ve got a system that … rewards people for saying the most outrageous things, even though we know it’s not true. It’s entertaining, somehow. But people get cynical,” Obama said.

“Your job is to not succumb to that. Your job is to convince your neighbors, families and states not to succumb to that,” he added.

Tags 2016 2016 Democratic nomination 2016 Democratic primary Barack Obama Grumpy Cat Hillary Clinton

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