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'This is not a reality show': Obama takes aim at Donald Trump’s handling of coronavirus

Obama’s visit to Philadelphia underscores the significance of Pennsylvania.

2.56189915 Source: PA Images

BARACK OBAMA LAID into US President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, his culpability in national discord and his overall fitness for the job as he campaigned for Joe Biden.

Trump’s predecessor in the White House told a drive-in campaign rally in Philadelphia that Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, can mend a fractured country.

He lauded the merits of democracy and citizenship as “human values” that the United States must again embrace.

He said: “America is a good and decent place, but we’ve just seen so much nonsense and noise that sometimes it’s hard to remember.”

Obama’s visit to Philadelphia underscores the significance of Pennsylvania, the Rust Belt state that helped deliver Trump the White House four years ago.

Pennsylvania is the battleground state that Biden has visited the most this campaign season, and Trump has prioritised the state as well, aware that his path to victory would narrow considerably without the state’s 20 electoral votes.

The former president said: “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.”

He said Trump “wants full credit for the economy he inherited and no blame for the pandemic he ignored”.

He disparaged the Republicans’ “shameful” attempts to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act while always promising a replacement.

“It’s been ‘coming in two weeks’ for the last 10 years. Where is it? Where is this great plan to replace Obamacare?” he asked. “There is no plan. They’ve never had one.”

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2.56189907 Former President Barack Obama speaks at Citizens Bank Park. Source: Matt Slocum/AP

The former president also issued a stark reminder of 2016, when opinion polls showed Hillary Clinton as the clear favorite – only for her and her supporters to be shocked by a Trump victory on election day.

“We can’t be complacent. I don’t care about the polls,” the former two-term president told the rally outside a baseball stadium.

“There were a whole bunch of polls last time. Didn’t work out. Because a whole bunch of folks stayed at home. And got lazy and complacent. Not this time. Not in this election.”

He told supporters that too much was at stake to have four more years of Trump leading the nation, seeking to contrast his successor – a Republican real estate mogul and ex-reality TV star – with his former vice president.

“This is not a reality show. This is reality,” Obama said.

“And the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously.”

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