Former U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday that President Donald Trump is “incapable of taking the job seriously,” as Obama campaigned for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the key state of Pennsylvania.
The drive-in rally in the city of Philadelphia was Obama’s first in-person event in support of Biden, who served as vice president during his two terms in office.
"I never thought Donald Trump would embrace my vision or continue my policies, but I did hope for the sake of the country that he might show some interest in taking the job seriously,” Obama told the crowd sitting in nearly 300 cars spread across a stadium parking lot.
“But it hasn't happened,” Obama said, “He hasn't shown any interest in doing the work or helping anybody but himself and his friends or treating the presidency like a reality show that he can use to get attention.”
Trump was a frequent critic of Obama during his predecessor’s time in office and has continued to attack Obama during his own four-year term in office. Earlier this month, he tweeted that the Obama-Biden administration was “TERRIBLE!!!”
At his own rally Wednesday, Trump cited Obama’s support of 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, saying, "It was nobody who campaigned harder for Crooked Hillary than Obama, right?"
Obama portrayed a Biden presidency as different in tone and priorities than the Trump administration and included criticism of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 222,000 people in the United States.
“I get that this president wants full credit for the economy he inherited and zero blame for the pandemic that he ignored. But you know what, the job doesn't work that way,” Obama said. “Tweeting at the television doesn't fix things. Making stuff up doesn't make people's lives better. You've got to have a plan. You've got to put in the work.”
Pennsylvania has been a focus for both the Trump and Biden campaigns in their final push for support ahead of the November 3 election. The state carries 20 of the 270 electoral votes a candidate needs to win a White House term. Trump defeated Clinton in Pennsylvania in 2016, the first time a Republican had won the state since 1988.
Biden has visited Pennsylvania more than any other state, and Trump made his latest appearance there on Tuesday.