Barack Obama can no longer hold the highest office in the land, but he still has the ability to inspire the nation as evidenced by a rousing speech he gave earlier Friday. While at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, the former commander-in-chief slammed President Donald Trump and the Republican Party in the most eloquent way possible.
Laying out a brief history of America — starting with George Washington’s decision to step out of public life after leaving the presidency — Obama framed the 2018 elections as more significant than ever before.
And for the first time since leaving office, he said Trump’s name. Obama unfurled a paragraph-by-paragraph condemnation of Trump, his presidency and what he has uncorked in American politics.
“It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause,” Obama said to applause. “He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.”
It’s not just about Trump, Obama said. It’s about Republicans “who know better in Congress … bending over backwards to shield” Trump. They’re hypocrites, he said, and they’re just as dangerous to America. At times mocking them and at times laying into them, Obama said they’ve abandoned all that they’re supposed to stand for as Republicans, and as citizens of this country.
The entire speech can be watched below courtesy of NBC News