After taking a well-deserved break, President Obama has recently re-entered the political sphere to express his support for several Democratic candidates. On Thursday, he arrived in Newark, New Jersey to campaign for Phil Murphy, his former ambassador to Germany, who is now the state’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
After walking on stage to chants of “four more years,” Obama praised Murphy’s understanding of his state’s need to move forward:
‘Phil Murphy understands that New Jersey wants to move forward. It doesn’t want to move backwards.’
‘We are rejecting a politics of division. We are rejecting a politics of fear. We are embracing a politics that says everybody deserves a chance, a politics that says everybody has dignity and worth; a politics of hope.’
Although he never mentioned President Trump by name, Obama subtly suggested that the nation’s current leader is sending the political landscape back in time.
‘Some of the politics we see now, we thought we put that to bed. That’s folks looking 50 years back, it’s the 21st century, not the 19th century.’
Obama made another subtle reference to the 2016 election when he urged the crowd not to get too wrapped up in the polls. Instead, he encouraged them to focus on driving more grassroots support to Murphy.
‘I don’t know if y’all noticed, but you can’t take any election for granted. I don’t care what the polls say. I don’t care what the pundits say.’
Obama also emphasized everyone’s role in making democracy work and said that those who don’t vote don’t get to complain about the election’s outcome.
He did work in a few remarks that were directed toward the current president, but Obama’s aides told ABC News that he is not interested in spending a lot of time attacking Trump.
‘It’s in no one’s interest — including the former president’s, the Democratic Party’s, or the country’s — for President Obama to become the face of any resistance or the party. Instead, he is creating the space for leaders in the party to craft the best path forward that will make our country better.
‘He is acutely aware that when he consumes political oxygen, it can stifle the attention that should be on current and emerging leaders in the party.’
MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin shared a clip of the speech on Twitter:
Obama: "Some of the politics we see now, we thought we put that to bed. That’s folks looking 50 years back." (ABC) pic.twitter.com/hfPDnNOJNp
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 19, 2017
A number of people responded to Griffin’s tweet with comments about how much they miss Obama’s leadership.
Obama is also visiting Richmond, Virginia this evening for a rally with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Northam is in a tight race with the former Republican National Committee, Chairman Ed Gillespie.
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.