President Obama angrily called for greater African American turnout for Hillary Clinton during a speech in front of the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday, saying it was a “personal insult” to his legacy if they failed to do so.
Ripping Republican candidate Donald Trump as a hateful candidate of fear, Obama said that while his own name may not be on the ballot, the “progress” made under his administration was.
“Tolerance is on the ballot!” Obama shouted. “Democracy is on the ballot! Justice is on the ballot! Good schools are on the ballot! Ending mass incarceration, that’s on the ballot right now!”
Obama, who endorsed his former secretary of state in June, called Trump’s “central theme” an opposition to what his White House had accomplished.
“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters, and after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,” he said. “You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote!”
Clinton has failed to generate the kind of enthusiasm in the Democratic Party that propelled Obama to back-to-back electoral victories in 2008 and 2012, particularly among African Americans, who voted for him in huge margins both times. Trump has made a comeback in the polls in the past month, taking leads in critical swing states like Florida and Ohio and sending a mild panic into Clinton supporters.
When Michelle Obama spoke at a Clinton rally in Virginia on Friday, the crowd chanted “Four more years.”