“They embolden other people to be cruel, and divisive and racist. And it frays the fabric of our society. And it affects how our children see things. And it affects the ways that our families get along. It affects how the world looks at America. That behavior matters. Character matters,” he said.
Obama made the speech during a drive-in campaign rally for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Philadelphia. He praised his former vice president for his empathy, decency and competence, and his ability to lead the nation through the COVID-19 pandemic ― qualities he emphatically reminded voters Trump does not possess.
Obama said a Biden administration would begin to restore America’s reputation in the world as a nation that “stands with democracy, not dictators,” and that leads by setting an example in efforts to overcome threats like climate change, terrorism, poverty and disease.
“And with Joe and Kamala [Harris] at the helm, you’re not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day,” Obama said.
“It just won’t be so exhausting. You might be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner without having an argument. You’ll be able to go about your lives knowing that the president is not going to retweet conspiracy theories about secret cabals running the world or that Navy SEALs didn’t actually kill Bin Laden,” he added.
Trump has persistently amplified disinformation throughout his presidency, and last week he refused to condemn the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that a satanic cult of liberal elites is running a pedophile ring that Trump is secretly working to stop.
He also retweeted a baseless conspiracy theory that Obama ordered the killing of SEAL Team 6, the unit best known for capturing terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in 2011. When he defended that decision during his NBC News town hall, host Savannah Guthrie told him, “You’re the president. You’re not like someone’s crazy uncle who can retweet whatever.”
Obama told voters that with Biden in charge, America would have a president who doesn’t threaten and insult anybody who doesn’t support him.
“That’s not normal presidential behavior,” he said. “We wouldn’t tolerate it from a high school principal. We wouldn’t tolerate it from a coach. We wouldn’t tolerate it from a co-worker. We wouldn’t tolerate it in our own family ― except for maybe a crazy uncle somewhere.”
Watch his full address below.
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