During a speech Friday night in Georgia, former president Barack Obama praised Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker as “one of the best running backs of all time,” but he called Walker “a celebrity that wants to be a politician” and claimed that Walker is unqualified to serve as a senator for the United States.
Obama attacked Walker point for point, referring to him as “someone who carries around a phony badge and says he is in law enforcement like a kid playing cops and robbers,” criticizing his “issues of character” and “habit of not telling the truth,” and saying that because of his loyalty to the late president Donald Trump, Walker “is not going to be really thinking about you or your needs.”
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The speech—the former Democratic president’s first comprehensive appearance on the campaign road in 2022—framed the midterms as a choice between “leaders who share our values, who see you and care about you and politicians who seem eager to do everything to win in power.”
Obama remarked that “almost every Republican leader appears consumed with two things: owning the liberals and winning Donald Trump’s favour.” That is their agenda; it is brief, straightforward, and, at least to me, uninspiring. They have no desire to truly address issues. They want to get you upset and look for someone to blame. Because if you do, you can miss the fact that they lack self-sufficient responses.
Georgia, I’m here today for a simple reason: to ask you to vote. Because, once again, this is not an ordinary election. The stakes are higher. So vote for Democratic candidates who will fight for you. pic.twitter.com/6u14yhCYeS
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 29, 2022
Obama was greeted inside College Park, Georgia’s Gateway Center Arena with thunderous applause. He often uttered one of his catchphrases from earlier in his career: “Don’t boo, vote!”
“Listen, inflation is a big concern right now,” he said, acknowledging the financial challenges the Democrats will face in November. It occurs all across the world, not just in America. It is one of the pandemic’s enduring effects.
He asserted, however, that Republicans had not put out any independent ideas or programs, asking: “Republicans talk a lot about it, but what is their response? What is their economic strategy?
Obama’s sharpest criticism, though, was directed at Walker. He called the contest between Walker and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, which is crucial for controlling the Senate’s evenly divided majority, a “study in difference.”
Walker, a renowned football player at the University of Georgia who won the Heisman Trophy in 1982, was praised at the beginning of the discussion.
“Yes, I’m happy to see so many young people here right now. Herschel Walker was a fantastic football player, although some of you may not remember him, Obama said. He was outstanding in college. one of the greatest running backs ever. Does it make him the best candidate to serve you in the US Senate, though? Does he have the necessary qualifications to offer his opinion on crucial choices affecting our future, our foreign policy, and our economy?
New: Obama rallies electric Atlanta crowd in push for Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams
My report tonight from ATL 👇 https://t.co/8ytgG0fmht
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) October 29, 2022
Obama then made a joke, joking that even if Walker had won the Heisman, the crowd wouldn’t let him operate on them or fly the jet they were on without first verifying his credentials.
By the way, the reverse is also accurate. Even if you may have liked me as president, he said, “you wouldn’t want me to start at tailback by the dogs. “I mean, can you envision some 300-pound defensive tackle who does a 4.6 40 (yard dash) hitting my sluggish, old, skinny behind? I’d need to be scraped off the field. I’m afraid not. I’m afraid not. There are a lot of things that I am good at, but that is not one of them.
Obama, though, then attacked the Republicans. Obama said, later nodding to Trump, “There is very little evidence that he has taken any interest, bothered to learn anything about or displayed any kind of inclination towards public service or volunteer work or helping people in any way.” Obama added, nodding to Trump, “we have seen how that goes.”
Obama then brought up Walker’s “problems of character,” ostensibly in response to the claims that he paid for the abortions of two women.
Walker, who has previously argued for a complete nationwide ban on abortions, has refuted the allegations.
Walker, according to Obama, “has a pattern of not telling the truth, of saying one thing and doing another, and of having different rules for you and your significant pals than for everyone else.”
He continued, “That speaks volumes about the kind of leader you are going to be. And if a candidate’s primary qualification is that he will be devoted to Donald Trump, that suggests that he won’t be genuinely concerned with you or your needs.
Obama wasn’t the only Democrat to intensify his criticism of Walker; in his address introducing the former president, Warnock also singled out Walker’s rival, a Republican.
Warnock urged Georgians to think about the results of the election, stating, “A vote is your voice, and your voice is your human dignity,” reflecting the concern among Democrats that the race is close.
To thunderous acclaim from the audience, Warnock specifically criticized Walker in his remarks, reiterating Obama’s criticism that Walker is not prepared.
Simply, Herschel Walker isn’t prepared, according to Warnock. He is not prepared. He isn’t prepared. He is not only unprepared but also unfit.
Warnock later said, “If we can’t trust him to speak the truth about his life, how can we trust him to defend our lives and our families, our children, our jobs, and our future?” Warnock has previously claimed that his Republican opponent has problems with telling the truth.
Obama will rally in Detroit while Tulsi is headed to Southfield
— Samuel J. Robinson (@samueljrob) October 28, 2022
Even though Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Abrams spoke at the gathering, Obama spent less time focused on Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Obama was less forthright than Kemp and the Republicans when he mentioned some of the voting regulations that Georgia imposed in the wake of the 2018 election.
Instead, the former president provided broader perspectives on the midterm elections.
“I understand why people are worried. I can see why you might be anxious. Obama stated, “I see why it could be tempting to just tune out and watch football or ‘Dancing with the Stars. But I’m here to inform you that you can’t just tune out. There is no room for despair. We must all work together to change this economy for the better. Democracy can only be preserved if we all work to protect and advance it.
“Who will fight for you? is the essential question you should be asking yourself right now,” he continued. Who is interested in you? Who can see you? Who has faith in you? In this election, that is the option.
Obama spent less time discussing the governor’s race, but when Abrams reached the stage before the former president, the crowd erupted in yells of “Stacey! Stacey! Stacey!” She appealed to people to have faith in her ability to defeat Kemp, who polls indicate has an advantage in the race, by citing the history of Obama’s own election in 2008 and reelection in 2012.
According to Abrams, “We defied conventional wisdom to deliver generational change, and we’re going to do it again, Georgia.”
“We defied history time and time again, and we will do it again on November 8 because it is who we are,” she continued. We believe in tomorrow and we believe in ourselves as a state, Georgia.
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Long lines surrounded the Gateway Center Arena in College Park, just outside of Atlanta, hours before Obama arrived. Aides signed individuals up for volunteer campaign shifts to knock on doors this weekend as they made their way through the crowd with clipboards and laptop computers.
Above all, the event was meant to be a tool for organisation, according to the officials.
The presence of President Obama, said Georgia Democratic Party Chairwoman Rep. Nikema Williams, “shows that we are still battling and moving toward Election Day.” The goal is to unite individuals and inspire voters who are still looking for motivation throughout this election season.
With one week left in the early voting period, the secretary of state’s office reported that more than 1.3 million Georgians had had cast ballots as of Friday.
A DJ warmed up the approximately 6,000-person throng inside the arena as Democrats waved placards supporting Warnock, Abrams, and other state and local candidates on the ticket.
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