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Obama Attacks Trump, GOP In Preview Of Midterm Message

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Former President Barack Obama launched attacks on President Donald Trump and the Republican Party in a speech seen as a preview of the message he will deliver in the lead-up to the midterm elections in November.

In the speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Friday, Obama took the rare step of mentioning Trump by name.

Obama described Trump as a symptom of a cycle in American politics that sees "eras of great progressive change" followed by "periods of retrenchment."

"He is just capitalizing on resentment that politicians have fanning for years," Obama said of Trump. "A fear, an anger that is rooted in our past but is also borne in our enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes."

Obama specifically took aim at Trump for threatening the freedom of the press, attempting to politicize the Attorney General and failing to stand up to Nazi sympathizers.

The former president also had some harsh words for the Republican Party, claiming the politics of division and resentment has found a home in the GOP in recent decades.

Obama accused Republicans of cutting taxes for the wealthy without regard for the impact on the deficit, rejecting science, and embracing wild conspiracy theories.

"None of this is conservative," Obama said. "It sure isn't normal. It's radical. It's a vision that says our protection of our power is all that matters."

Obama told the audience the solution is to vote in the upcoming elections, which he argued are more important than any in his lifetime.

"As a fellow citizen, not as an ex-president, I'm here to deliver a simple message, which is that you need to vote, because our democracy depends on it," Obama said.

"The antidote to a government controlled by a powerful few, a government that divides, is a government by an organized, energized, inclusive many," he later added. "That has to be the answer."

The speech by Obama comes as he prepares to hit the campaign trail, beginning with a rally for Democratic congressional candidates in California on Saturday and an event for Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray next Thursday.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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