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Obama: Clinton ‘steady,’ Trump ‘not fit in any way’ to lead

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Barack Obama speaks at campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, at Eakins Oval in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA >> Accusing Republicans of fanning hate, President Barack Obama on Tuesday stepped in to defend a bruised and temporarily benched Hillary Clinton, hoping to reassure Democrats nervous both about their presidential candidate’s health and her handling of fresh trouble on her campaign.

Speaking at an outdoor rally in a Democratic stronghold, Obama praised Clinton as the most qualified candidate ever to seek the office and mocked her opponent Donald Trump as “not fit in any way” to lead. He suggested Clinton was again the victim of unfair treatment and a scandal machine that has dogged her throughout her long political career.

“What sets Hillary apart is that through it all she just keeps on going and she doesn’t stop caring and she doesn’t stop trying and she never stops fighting for us even if we haven’t always appreciated it,” Obama said. “I understand, we’re a young country, we are a restless country. We always like the new shiny thing. I benefited from that when I was a candidate, and we take for granted sometimes what is steady and true. And Hillary Clinton is steady and she is true.”

The remarks were the closest Obama came to mentioning Clinton’s rough weekend, during which she disparaged “half” of Trump supporters and then backtracked somewhat on her remarks. She also was forced to abruptly leave an event because of an illness she had not disclosed. Clinton was caught on video struggling to stay on her feet. Her campaign later said she been diagnosed with pneumonia. Clinton canceled campaign events this week to recover, but is due back on the trail Thursday.

Her campaign said she spent Tuesday reading briefing material, making calls and watching Obama’s speech on television.

The incident and the campaign’s attempt to keep the diagnosis secret revived long-held concerns about Clinton’s tendency to hunker down during a crisis, making matters worse.

To an audience of roughly 6,000 supporters in downtown Philadelphia, Obama argued that Clinton has been more transparent in providing health and financial records than her rival, as well as releasing her past tax returns while Trump refuses to release his.

Obama said the Clinton Foundation has “saved countless lives around the world,” while Trump used his charity to buy “a six-foot-tall painting of himself,” Obama said, referencing a Washington Post investigation of Trump’s charity.

“I mean, you know, he had the taste not to go for the 10-foot version,” he said.

Obama is seeking to generate momentum — and some passion — for Clinton in a race that has become uncomfortably close for many Democratic supporters. The latest poll by Quinnipiac University found her with a 5 percentage-point edge over Trump in Pennsylvania.

Obama’s event at an outdoor plaza in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art was his third for Clinton, including his speech at the Democratic National Convention, also in Philadelphia. The president, who remains broadly popular among the Democratic base, is viewed as a key asset in pushing die-hard Democrats to the polls, especially in battleground state urban centers such as Philadelphia.

Greeted with chants of “thank you!,” the president sought to trade on that popularity. He told the crowd that he’s enthusiastically behind Clinton — and they should be, too — a sort of acknowledgement of lack of enthusiasm among the ranks about Clinton’s bid.

“Look, can I just say I am really into electing Hillary Clinton. Like this not me going through the motions here,” he said. “I really, really, really want to elect Hillary Clinton.”

Obama also appealed to Trump supporters. He tried to undermine the Republican businessman’s claim as a working-class hero. He accused Trump of being unprepared, unserious and “not a facts guy.” He seized on Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Obama cast as an authoritarian strongman who controls the media and crushes dissent.

“Can you imagine Ronald Reagan idolizing somebody like that?” Obama said, invoking the Republican icon.

Branding Republicans as promoting “a dark vision,” the president said, “They’re not offering serious solutions — they’re just fanning resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.”

Obama reserved part of his speech to “vent” about the media, arguing news organizations have treated Clinton unfairly and applied what he described as a false equivalence when covering the campaigns’ troubles.

“You don’t grade the presidency on a curve,” he said. “This is serious business.”

Trump’s campaign met Obama with a statement suggesting he was shirking his duties.

“Shouldn’t you be at work?” it read. “President Obama would rather campaign for Hillary Clinton than solve major problems facing the country.”

Trump was scheduled to campaign later Tuesday in a Philadelphia suburb. Pennsylvania, which was carried by a Democratic nominee in the past six elections, is viewed as essential for Trump’s chances of achieving the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency.

Obama built some fundraising into this campaign day. In Philadelphia, he attended a closed fundraiser for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. About 25 attendees, who contributed $33,400 each, were expected to attend. The event hosts gave $100,000.

He then flew to New York City for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser at the home of hedge-fund founder Jim Chanos.

Obama extended his critique of Trump to his Republican allies in the House. The president said Republicans are so disorganized and fragmented they can’t even agree on the “cockamamie legislation” they want to pass.

Obama pointed to a push to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen as an example. The effort is backed by some House conservatives but faces resistance from within the party. Obama on Tuesday called the effort “crazy.”

“No wonder people end up being discouraged and dispirited,” he said.

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    • You’re probably incorrect but time will tell. My all time favorites for the honor of worst President results in a tie among Andrew Jackson, Herbert Hoover, William H. Taft, and perhaps George W. Bush.

      • Among the many things that he promised was to bring the country together, “to finally tackle the problems that Washington has ignored for too long.” He stated that repeatedly and then usually followed it up by insulting the republicans. They’re no better but as the so-called leader of this country I expected that he’d lead. Now he’s backing Clinton as “the most qualified candidate ever to seek the office”. This is the person who just called all Trump supporters, nearly half the country, as “racist, sexists, homophobic…, you name it.” Do you think she’s fit to lead?

        • He’s going to leave office as one of the most popular Presidents in history.

          Keep up your fantasy.

    • Agreed to your first assessment and double down on your second. It was so disappointing to those who voted for Hope and Change and got more of the same. However it’s even more disappointing that there are those who want to perpetuate the same thru blind partisan su

    • Ditto. One of the worst and weakest presidents in U.S. History. He is somewhat unique in that he was/is so totally and completely inept and lacking of any of the qualities required to be president in this day and age. His lack of political insight and his disastrous foreign policy reflect his ignorance of the world at large. And he has the audacity to claim Clinton is the best candidate to ever seek the office. Outrageous, but then again so we’re the things he did in office he’ll be remembered most for. In all fairness, Bush was equally inept and unqualified. Without a Bush, there could never have been an Obama. It’s been a one-two sucker punch that has crippled America’s world standing and Americans’ confidence in their political system and the hope of any real change.

  • The Incompetent One is so arrogant as to believe that he is qualified to pass judgement on Trump as “not fit in any way to lead”. For a political neophyte who had nothing but his skin color to “qualify” himself to the highest office on the planet, I find his assessment of Trump hollow, asinine, unqualified, and worthy of the highest contempt.

  • Little Barry Hussein rode the Affirmative Action elevator to the top floor and had no clue what to do when he got there. Not surprising since he had no record of achievement. So he reverted to what he knew best, community organizing, better known as rabble rousing. He had a once in a lifetime opportunity to unify a great nation. Instead he inserted himself in petty racial issues and divided the country. He had his supporters that’s for sure but if you asked anyone of them what qualified him for president you would get a vacant look.

    • The irony is Trump would have to be considered “steady” and Hillary “not fit to lead”, exactly opposite of the President’s assessment. Hillary has looked anything but steady for the past several months. CEI makes a good point. It is important that the next President feels they represent 100% of the citizens. Remember, it was Hillary who said when asked “who is the greatest enemy of the U.S.?”. Her response, unbelievably, was “Republicans”. We need a President who will unite the country. Hillary, unfortunately, will continue with the globalist agenda.

  • Pop quiz: Who said the following about Barak Obama to the late Sen. Ted “Chappaquiddik” Kennedy? “A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags.” Yes, that’s correct the quote belongs to Hillary’s husband. Makes one wonder why Barak is so enthusiastically supporting Bill’s wife after a dis’ like that.

  • Barry is hoping to make himself relevant, when he is so irrelevant it hurts. No one cares, or believes anything he says, mostly because he has spent the last 7 years demeaning the presidency. He is the worst president in the history of America, let’s hope that we don’t give him a third term with the equally incompetent, and devious HilLIARy.

  • Is it me or What? According to Obama ,He and Hillary were responsible for saving countless lives. Braaaaah! There was so much collateral damage because of his “Red Line” and he touts “Saving Countless Lives”? He has change the fabric of Europe with influx of Syrian refugees, and running amok? And he wants to bring another 100K here? Huh? Really?
    The middle east and Europe are in total disarray. And he touts this? For me ,what really hit home was seeing the little 3 year boy (Aylan) washed ashore. Dead! This was a sad day for me
    For all the mess, I say Obama and Hillary owns it!

    But you know what was really rich was an audience supporter crediting Obama for low gas Prices! That’s Right!You heard right! Obama has Lowered Gas Prices.lol And Obama who was so eager? Actually takes credit for this? Totally Hilariuos!

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