Former President Barack Obama will accuse President Trump of not “taking the job seriously” and blame him for the coronavirus pandemic’s death toll during a Wednesday night speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Excerpts released ahead of the broadcast of Obama’s taped remarks reveal he will blast Trump as he seeks to rev up his winning 2008 and 2012 coalition of diverse and young voters.
Obama rarely attacks Trump so directly, and his speech is almost certain to attract a fierce rebuttal from the president, who routinely slams Obama for “spying” on his campaign.
“I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president,” Obama will say. “I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care. But he never did.”
Obama will describe Trump as slothful and selfish.
“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 will say.
“Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe. 170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.”
Obama will share a virtual stage on the third night of the DNC with defeated 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden’s running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
Even before Obama took the stage, Trump came out swinging against Obama and Biden at a White House briefing.
“President Obama did not do a good job… They did such a bad job that I stand before you as president,” Trump said.
The former president will seek to boost Biden, his former vice president, as a “friend” and solid alternative to Trump.
“Twelve years ago, when I began my search for a vice president, I didn’t know I’d end up finding a brother,” Obama will say. “Over eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president. He’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country.”