President Barack Obama held a rally in Greensboro in support of Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton, speaking on his support for the former secretary of state, his criticism of Candidate Donald Trump, and the progress made in his terms.
The rally was held at Greensboro Coliseum sub-venue White Oaks Amphitheater.
“I want to begin by thanking everybody in North Carolina for looking out for one another these past few days,” Obama said. “As all of you know, a lot of communities are dealing with terrible flooding. Lives have been lost. And so the entire country has been thinking about North Carolina.… When it comes to making sure that people are safe and cared for, there are no politics. Everybody has to look out for one another.”
Obama listed accomplishments made by his administration, including Obamacare, bin Laden’s death, improved relations with Cuba, and progress in environmental regulation.
“No wonder I’ve gone gray,” Obama said, “because we’ve been busy.”
Obama also spoke on areas still needing improvement, including economic, social, and racial grounds.
“Families are still struggling to pay the bills… Young people are still worried about paying off student loans or starting a career,” Obama said. “Even with Obamacare… there are still folks who don’t have health care. There are still kids who are worried about their safety. And everybody is frustrated with political gridlock, and people are worried about racial division. There are pockets of America that still haven’t recovered from factory closures. There are still young people who wonder whether they’ll have the same opportunities that we had.”
Obama also criticized Donald Trump for his perceived lack of suitability for presidential office, on grounds of his inexperience and temperament.
“I did not think that if [McCain or Romney] were in the Oval Office that America would spin out of control… I just thought they represented a different political party and a different philosophy,” Obama said. “That is not the case with the current Republican nominee. He doesn’t have the temperament, or the judgment, or the knowledge, — or, apparently, the desire to obtain the knowledge — or the basic honesty that a President needs to have.”
Obama also spoke on Trump’s economic success claims, criticizing his business failures and treatment of workers, as well as his alleged non-payment of taxes.
“I also don’t know a lot of casino operators who manage to lose almost a billion dollars in a year,” Obama said.
Obama also spoke in praise of Clinton, discussing his admiration of her work ethic, knowledge, and experience. He drew from her input on the bin Laden assassination to her attempts at bi-partisan legislation appeal.
“As a First Lady, as a senator, as my Secretary of State, she knows what it means. She knows what it takes. I’ve seen her intelligence and judgment and temperament and her discipline,” Obama stated.
Obama also spoke about the Republican side of the political aisle, which he has been in conflict with for much of his terms. He commented that he believed the right acted with good intentions, but that their actions led to Trump’s rise to political prominence.
“So the overwhelming majority of Republicans, they love their families, they love this country. They’re good and decent people doing all kinds of good things,” Obama stated. “But what is true is… if you’ve been only about obstruction, if in order to score political points, you tell your voter base crazy stuff… that over time what happens is that you produce a nominee who is all about obstruction and insults, and makes up his own facts.”
Obama spoke in praise of American youth, declaring his confidence in their future.
“What I’ve seen from young people is that you care about looking out for each other, not turning on each other. The young people I meet, they are more tolerant, and they are more sophisticated, and they are more interested in the world,” Obama said. “And you want to be active and engaged in the work of creating a vibrant, and innovative, and inclusive, and mobile society, and a democracy that works.”
Obama concluded the rally by beseeching youth to vote, stating that the choice between Trump and Clinton was vital, and for them to not succumb to cynical voting.
“If you want to send a message in this election, make it a resounding message. Turn back the forces of racism and misogyny, and send a message for progress,” Obama said in conclusion. “Send a message for facts. Send a message for reason. Send a message for hope. Send a message by voting for Hillary Clinton. Send a message for Deborah Ross. Send a message about who we are as the American people and make our kids proud.”
The rally was interrupted thrice by pro-Trump protesters, who yelled slogans before being escorted out.
“This is the great thing about politics in America,” Obama said in response to the first interruption. “It just — it takes all kinds. Folks will just do all kinds of stuff.”
“Here’s the deal,” Obama said in response to the second interruption, “try to get your own rally.”
“It doesn’t really matter if some young man just runs across here and gets his five seconds of fame,” Obama said in response to the third interruption. “What matters is who is voting.”