Barack Obama urges Michigan to vote: "The character of our country is on the ballot"

Former President Barack Obama at rally in Detroit.JPG

Former President Barack Obama did not hold back from criticizing current President Donald Trump and used that as motivation to urge people to head to the polls on November 6.

Packed inside the Cass Tech High School in Detroit at full capacity, 4,700 people, the Michigan Democratic Party hoped a visit from Obama himself will give people the nudge they need to vote in this midterm election.

“The main reason I’m here is to make sure all of you vote,” Former President Barack Obama said. “The character of our country is on the ballot.”

Obama said the entire political environment right now is dangerous and claimed Republicans across the country are using fear as a tactic in these elections. He added that the current climate is dangerous due to “lies coming from Washington.”

“When words stop meaning anything, when truth doesn’t matter, when people can just make up facts, then democracy doesn’t work,” Obama said. “The only check on bad behavior is you and your vote.”

The former President spoke at length about switched positions from the Trump and other Republicans; he touched on health care and said now some candidates are saying they are going to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions.

“That’s hutzpah,” the former POTUS said.

Obama was energizing and he stopped a handful of times during his speech to directly address the crowd who were, at times, a bit rowdy for him.

His message of the necessity to vote was clear and echoed by the other speakers of the night. The Democratic candidates for Secretary of State and Attorney General, Jocelyn Benson and Dana Nessel respectively, hit that message, as did congressional hopefuls and gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer.

While Whitmer’s time on stage was somewhat short, she hit the message hard.

“Anyone miss the days when we had a president we could be proud of,” she rhetorically asked.

Whitmer also brought up the final debate between herself and GOP opponent Bill Schuette that took place in Detroit Wednesday; Schuette ‘had a slip of the tongue’ and called her Jennifer Whitmer, seemingly confusing her with former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

“He thinks I look like Jennifer Granholm, well, let me tell you something. I think he looks like someone who is about to be retired,” she said.

Current U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow introduced Obama and during her speech, called him the ‘living example of what can happen when we do vote.’ In her own race for her current seat, she used the stage to tout the work of Obama.

“Some people though we should let our auto industry go bankrupt, but not President Obama,” Stabenow said. “He knew that not only did we build the auto industry, but we build the American middle class.”

The former President told the room he understands why people are frustrated and the feeling that their vote won’t matter. But, Obama said that can change.

“I’m hopeful that despite all the lies, we will cut through all of that. We are not going to fix everything with one election. But if you vote, it’ll get better,” Obama said. “Change is going to come. Hope is infectious. That’s what your vote can do, let’s get to work Michigan.”

Obama’s visit comes with less than two weeks before the election. He’s been traveling around the country stumping for Democratic candidates and was in Milwaukee, Wisc. before he came to Detroit.

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