Obama condemns 'unprecedented behavior' from Trump in plea to young voters

Obama condemns 'unprecedented behavior' from Trump in plea to young voters
© Getty Images

Former President Obama discusses in a new video his decision to speak out against his successor President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE, while urging younger voters to head to the polls in the November midterm elections.

“This is one of those moments where we have to make sure they [young voters] understand that it’s a lot more than just the presidency,” Obama said in a video for NowThis released Saturday.

“If you’re concerned about what we’ve been seeing out of the White House over the last couple of years — and I think we’re seeing some unprecedented behavior that violates norms that in the past have been observed by both Democrats and Republicans — the only check on that behavior is going to be having a Congress and other officials across the country who stand up for American values and American ideals,” he added.

In the video, Obama also sounds the alarm on what he sees as the damage caused by the Trump presidency.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We’re in an urgent time. We’ve seen basic norms and principles that have served us well for decades increasingly violated, not to mention policies that have further skewed towards the wealthy and powerful,” he said.

The video was released a day after Obama gave a blistering rebuke of Trump during a wide-ranging speech at the University of Illinois, marking the former president's reemergence onto the political scene ahead of the midterm elections.

“We are Americans. We’re supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them. We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination and we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers,” Obama said Friday, referencing Trump’s response to a white nationalist rally last year in Charlottesville, Va.

“What happened to the Republican Party? Its central organizing principle in foreign policy was the fight against communism and now they’re cozying up to the former head of the KGB, actively blocking legislation that would defend our elections from Russian attack. What happened?” Obama said.

Trump shrugged off Obama's remarks on Friday, saying he "fell asleep." 

"I'm sorry. I watched it, but I fell asleep. I found he's very good — very good for sleeping," Trump said during a fundraiser in Fargo, N.D.

The former president's comments come as he plans to campaign for Democrats across the country in the coming months.

Obama will participate in a campaign rally for several Democratic congressional candidates in California, followed by a Sept. 13 rally for former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayWealthiest Republican supporter in Ohio quits party Obama blasts GOP: They ‘put up with crazy’ On The Money: Lawmakers get deal to avoid shutdown | House panel approves 'tax cuts 2.0' bill | Jobless claims hold steady near 49-year low MORE, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Ohio.

He is also planning campaign trips to Illinois and Pennsylvania, two states with critical gubernatorial and House races.