GREENSBORO, N.C., Oct. 11 (UPI) — President Barack Obama slammed Donald Trump as a racist and misogynist unfit to be president of the United States at his first campaign stop for Hillary Clinton since a tape of Trump making lewd comments about women was released last week.
Obama headlined a rally of more than 9,000 Tuesday night in North Carolina, a state where Clinton narrowly leads polls in the race against Trump and turnout of the black vote could make the difference between her winning and losing there.
Obama was interrupted several times by protesters, including by some wearing shirts and carrying signs that said “Bill Clinton is a rapist,” but continued making the case for Clinton in a state where his own campaigns had a mixed history.
Obama won North Carolina in 2008, but narrowly lost in 2012. Increasing turnout, especially among younger and African-American voters — key groups among voters who sent Obama to the White House — is seen as essential to Clinton’s chances there.
“He doesn’t have the temperament, or the judgment, or the knowledge, or apparently the desire to obtain the knowledge [to be president],” Obama said of Trump during his 45-minute speech. “That was true even before we heard about his attitudes toward women.”
Echoing what many have said since the recording of Trump aboard an Access Hollywood bus a decade ago was released on Friday, Obama said knowing what the Republican candidate said is wrong requires nothing more than being “a decent human being.”
“If it makes you mad, if you say, ‘That’s not somebody I want representing the United States of America,’ you can do something about it, North Carolina,” Obama said.
Although Democratic voters are requesting mail-in ballots at much higher rates than they were 2012, which may bode well for Clinton, there is still some concern that she will see turnout high enough to win the race in the state
Black voters, as well as young voters, do not appear to support Clinton as strongly as they did Obama in 2008 and 2012, which makes Obama valuable to the campaign because of his high approval rating and continued popularity with supporters of his campaigns.
“Barack Obama has essentially put Hillary Clinton on his back and is trying to carry her across the finish line metaphorically,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who has polled presidential elections since 1964. ‘There is no president that has put his prestige and his power behind a candidate more than Barack Obama, and if Hillary Clinton is successful she will owe it to Barack Obama more than any candidate I have ever known.”
Obama drew comparisons between Clinton and Trump, running down a list of issues and their positions, and said she comes off as a policy wonk with an uninspiring delivery because she “knows what it takes” to be president.
“She actually knows what she’s talking about, which is helpful when you’re president of the United States, to know what you’re talking about,” Obama said. “Come on, people. This isn’t auditioning for, like, some show. This ain’t a show.”