PHILADELPHIA- President Obama and Tim Kaine tag-teamed to deliver a scorching warm-up Wednesday for Hillary Clinton to accept the partys nomination for chairwoman at the Democratic convention, with the president accusing Republican Donald Trump of merely offering slogans and dread and Clintons freshly tapped running mate virtually upstaging the commander-in-chief with his gusty impression of the billionaires New Yawk bravado.
Framing the election as a choice between cynicism and optimism, Obama endorsed Clinton as a tough and tenacious leader, saying she is fit and ready to be the next commander-in-chief while rejecting Trumps claim that only he can cure the nations ills.
America is already great. America is already strong, Obama said. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump.
Of Clinton, he said: There has never been a man or a woman not me , not Bill , nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.
As the kicker, Clinton astonished the crowd by showing up onstage with Obama at the end of his speech, the two of them hugging and waving to delegates who were holding up “thank you” signs.
The chairwomen convention embracing of his one-time political competitor is sure to fuel a central charge of Republicans in the general election that Clinton represents a third Obama term, and the status quo. Without question, the sitting president depends on his former secretary of state to assistance preserve his legacy, and fend off recurring Republican attempts to repeal ObamaCare, upend environmental regulations and more.
To that end, Obama and a host of speakers on the conventions third night intensified their attacks on Trump, as they talked up Clintons qualifications.
The Donald is not really a plans guy. Hes not really a facts guy, either, Obama said. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women whove attained remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they get cheated.
Obama also employed the platform to defend his record in office, proclaiming hes more optimistic about the future of America than ever before.
Trump countered on Twitter: Our country does not feel ‘great already’ to the millions of wonderful people living in poverty, violence and despair.
The night in Philadelphia was replete with barbed insults even as the musical acts kept returning to themes of love and understand. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid illuminated into Trump earlier in the night, calling him a hateful con man and egomaniac. Former Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley, an ex-Clinton primary competitor, devoted a fiery speech calling Trump a bully racist.
Obamas address, marking a occur of the torch to the woman he defeated for the nomination eight years ago, was delivered shortly after delegates finalized the partys 2016 ticket. In an overwhelming voice election, they nominated Virginia Sen. Kaine for vice president.
Kaine himself, after starting off talking family and faith, changed gears in the second half and shelved his nice-guy persona to deliver a broadside against Trump, as he accepted the VP nomination from his party.
Hillary has a passion for children and households. Donald Trump has a passion too: It’s himself, Kaine said. The senator was merciless after that. He went on to taunt Trump, mimicking his Queens accent when he says, Believe me.
We’re gonna destroy ISIS so fast — believe me! There’s nothing suspicious in my tax returns — believe me! Kaine bellowed, as the crowd roared with laugh. Here’s the thing. Most people, when they run for chairman, they don’t just say believe me. They respect you enough to tell you how they will get things done. You cannot believe a single word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth.
The senator also delivered several lines in Spanish as he remembered his long-ago work with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras.
While he was speaking, the Trump campaign was firing out press releases ripping Kaine as a chore murderer and part of the Washington establishment.
The sitting vice president, Joe Biden, also went after Trump on all fronts, saying the billionaire tycoon would endanger national security and absence compassion.
Hes trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Dedicate me a transgres. Thats a bunch of malarkey, Biden said.
Remnants of the noisy factions that have disrupted proceedings since the weeks start flared up again during the course of its Kaine voice vote with a large section of the California delegation chanting, Roll call! Roll call! and during ex-Defense Secretary Leon Panettas statements. But some of the unrest has subsided, as party elders have methodically run since Sunday when they ousted party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz over a leaked email scandal to convince Bernie Sanders soldiers to lay down their arms.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had considered an independent presidential running before ruling it out, made a late appearance Wednesday with an endorsement that could help Clinton reach out to vital independents whom Trump also is courting, and a bagful of zingers aimed squarely at his fellow billionaire.
Trump says he wants to run the nation like hes run his business. God help us! Bloomberg said, calling him a dangerous demagogue and claiming its imperative to elect Clinton.
The focus of the third convention night was heavy on gun control, global warming and even national security, an issue largely absent from the first two nights.
Obama delivered his address only weeks after his Justice Department closed the books on its investigation into Clintons improper use of a private server and email while secretary of state, opting to pursue no charges. Despite allegations from Republican of political favoritism, the decision helped clear away one of the last major hurdles to her nomination going into the Philadelphia convention.
Together, the speakers Wednesday set the stage for Clinton to deliver her nomination adoption speech and close out the convention Thursday night, after becoming Tuesday the first female in U.S. history nominated for president by a major party.
The chairwomen speech Wednesday effectively kicks off Obamas general election role as a chief Clinton surrogate. The New York Times reported that aides mostly have cleared his calendar for October and expect him to be on the road regularly for Clinton until the election.
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