Obama at Biden fundraiser: ‘Whatever you’ve done so far is not enough’
Former President Obama urged supporters to do more to back the White House campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden as he hurdles toward the general election against President Trump.
Obama said during a joint fundraiser with Biden, his first such appearance with his former No. 2, that the situation Biden will inherit if he wins this November may be tougher than that of early 2009 but that the former vice president is the right candidate to meet the moment.
“I am here to say the help is on the way if we do the work because there’s nobody I trust more to be able to heal this country and get back on track than my dear friend Joe Biden,” Obama said.
“I appreciate you all being on this call, but, man, this is serious business,” he added later. “Whatever you’ve done so far is not enough. And I hold myself and Michelle and my kids to the same standard.”
Obama cast the stakes of the 2020 election in stark terms, noting that while he inherited a nation with a crippled economy, Biden will take over the White House from a president who Obama said is undermining the country’s foundations.
“My predecessor, who I disagreed with on a whole host of issues, still had a basic regard for the rule of law and the importance of our institutions,” Obama said.
“And what we have seen over the last couple of years is a White House enabled by Republicans in Congress and a media structure that supports them that has not just differed in terms of policy but has gone at the very foundations of who we are and who we should be,” he said.
Obama cited as evidence the Trump administration’s criticism of news reports underscoring the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic, allegations of politicization at the Justice Department and harsh immigration policies, but he expressed optimism that voters, particularly younger voters, would be well situated to vote Trump out this year.
“The good news, what makes me optimistic, is the fact that there is a great awakening going on around the country, particularly among younger people, 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,” he said.
The call for additional support for Biden comes as the former vice president finds himself leading Trump in polls by double digits and chipping into the president’s financial advantage. The Biden campaign also announced that the fundraiser with Obama had raised $7.6 million.
However, his campaign will still need more support to close the financial gap with the president, with Trump’s team saying in a statement after the fundraiser began that its rally in Tulsa, Okla., helped it raise a combined $10 million with the Republican National Committee and joint committees last weekend.