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Obama Makes Case for Clinton to Follow Him as President

  • VOA Staff

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton joins President Barack Obama after his speech at the Democratic National Convention, July 27, 2016.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton joins President Barack Obama after his speech at the Democratic National Convention, July 27, 2016.

U.S. President Barack Obama laid out Wednesday why he thinks Hillary Clinton should take over when he leaves office in January, saying no man or woman has ever been more qualified for the job.

His speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania highlighted accomplishments from his administration, while also describing Clinton as the candidate who believes the country is better when people of all backgrounds come together.

"This year, in this election, I'm asking you to join me -- to reject cynicism, and reject fear, and to summon what's best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation," Obama said.

He talked about her experience, which includes serving as secretary of state during his first term, contrasting it with that of Republican nominee Donald Trump who has never held elected office.Obama said nothing truly prepares a person for being president.

Watch video report from VOA's Jim Malone:

"Until you've sat at that desk, you don't know what it's like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war.But Hillary's been in the room; she's been part of those decisions.She knows what's at stake in the decisions our government makes, what's at stake for the working family, the senior citizen, the small business owner, for the soldier, for the veteran."

The crowd in Philadelphia booed when Obama mentioned Trump, to which Obama replied, "Don't boo, vote."

He said last week's Republican convention presented no serious solutions, but instead fanned "resentment, and blame and anger and hate."

The president criticized Trump's campaign, which has included proposals to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border and preventing Muslims from entering the country.

"He's just offering slogans, and he's offering fear.He's betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election."

And he seized on Trump's strong message to NATO allies suggesting he will insist they have fulfilled financial responsibilities before the U.S. would come to their aid.

"He cozies up to Putin, praises Saddam Hussein, tells our NATO allies that stood by our side after 9/11 that they have to pay up if they want our protection,' Obama said."Well, America's promises do not come with a price tag."

Watch: Barack Obama talks about Hillary Clinton

Trump fired back at the largely optimistic tone of Obama and other Democratic speakers who this week have taken exception to Trump's campaign slogan pledging to "Make America Great Again."

"Our country does not feel 'great already' to the millions of wonderful people living in poverty, violence and despair," he wrote on Twitter.

Trump's campaign issued a statement calling Wednesday a "sad night" for the Democratic Party and saying they presented only proposals to reward the rich while attacking "decent Americans who want change for their families."

"They offered no solutions for the problems facing America -- in fact, they pretended those problems didn't even exist." the statement said.

The Trump campaign also released statements detailing criticisms against the Obama administration, saying its policies "unleashed ISIS," and left "Syria in chaos," "Libya in ruins," and "Egypt in disarray." The campaign said Obama's economic policies have hurt young people and minorities and destroyed the middle class.

Vice President Joe Biden spent a large portion of his speech focusing on Trump and questioning the billionaire's commitment to the middle class.

Vice President Joe Biden walks the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 26, 2016 (Ahsanul Huq/VOA)

Vice President Joe Biden walks the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 26, 2016 (Ahsanul Huq/VOA)

"He is trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Give me a break. That is a bunch of malarkey," Biden said.

The vice president also said that the times are too uncertain and the threats too great to elect Trump.

"No major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or has been less prepared to deal with our national security," Biden said. "We cannot elect a man who exploits our fears of ISIS and other terrorists, who has no plan whatsoever to make us safer. A man who embraces the tactics of our enemies -- torture, religious intolerance. You all know, all the Republicans know, that is not who we are."

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, considered his own run for president before issuing a statement in March saying he would not risk the chance that he would divide the electorate in a way that would lead to Trump getting elected. He, too, harshly criticized Trump on Wednesday saying it is important for voters to "defeat a dangerous demagogue."

"This isn't reality television, this is reality," Bloomberg said, referencing Trump's former job hosting a show on NBC.

The criticism continued when Clinton's choice for vice president, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine took the stage.

"Our nation, it is just too great to put it in the hands of a slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting, one-man wrecking crew," he told the convention.

The convention closes Thursday night with an address from Clinton.

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