Former US President Barack Obama on Wednesday assailed his successor, Donald Trump, as deeply unfit for the office he occupies and argued that voting for his former number two, Joe Biden, was necessary to ensure the very survival of American democracy.
“He’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves,” Obama said of Trump during the third night of the Democratic National Convention.
“Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe,” he continued, blaming Trump for the 170,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus, the millions of jobs lost to the ensuing recession and the diminishment of the country’s democratic principles at home and abroad.
After avoiding direct criticism for most of Trump’s first term, the scathing broadsides from Obama constituted an unusually harsh assessment of one president by another. His assertion that Trump, a Republican, is incapable of meeting the demands of the presidency echoed the remarks from his wife, Michelle Obama, on Monday, that Trump “simply cannot be who we need him to be.”
Biden was formally nominated on Tuesday night to take on Trump in the November 3 presidential election. US Senator Kamala Harris, his choice for vice president, also spoke on Wednesday, while Biden will do so on Thursday.