PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Vice President Joe Biden and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine delivered rousing speeches that paved the way for President Barack Obama to take to the DNC stage. With many relying on Hillary Clinton to carry out Obama’s legacy, the speech shows his full support for the Democratic nominee.
No one, including himself and Bill Clinton, were more qualified to be president than Hillary, Obama said during the speech. “I’m sorry Bill.” he said jokingly.
The president started off by recalling the very first time he addressed the convention 12 years ago. He went on to detail how his administration fought its way back from the recession and created 15 million new jobs.
“By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started,” Obama said.
But the president noted there was still work to be done and that that work involved making some big choices this November.
“Fair to say, this is not your typical election,” Obama said. “It’s not just a choice between parties or policies.”
Painting a picture of the Republican National Convention, President Obama said, “what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican – and it sure wasn’t conservative.” He said the RNC gave a deeply pessimistic vision of the country that provided no serious solutions to pressing problems.
Making a transition into the America he believes in, Obama began to discuss Hillary Clinton as, “a leader with real plans to break down barriers, blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American.”
Bringing up her ability to lead the army, Obama stated how she relentlessly attacked the terror group ISIL while in his administration.
“She’ll finish the job – and she’ll do it without resorting to torture, or banning entire religions from entering our country,” the president said. “She is fit to be the next Commander-in-Chief.”
And then there’s Donald Trump.
When the crowd started to boo, Obama interrupted them by saying “Don’t boo, vote.”
President Obama said that Trump is “not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated.”
And unlike Trump.
“If you want someone with a lifelong track record of fighting for higher wages, better benefits, a fairer tax code, a bigger voice for workers, and stronger regulations on Wall Street, then you should vote for Hillary Clinton,” Obama said. “And if you’re concerned about who’s going to keep you and your family safe in a dangerous world – well, the choice is even clearer.”
The president even brought up stark comparisons between Ronald Reagan and the Republican nominee, implying that he is not the Reagan-esque nominee Republicans had hoped for.
“Ronald Reagan called America ‘a shining city on a hill.’ Donald Trump calls it “a divided crime scene” that only he can fix,” Obama said. “It doesn’t matter to him that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades, because he’s not offering any real solutions to those issues. 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.”
Obama urged voters to be as “vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders’ supporters have been. We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, and then hold them accountable until they get the job done…. That’s right feel the Bern” he said.
This is the third time Obama has addressed the nation during the Democratic National Convention, and his last time as president. But as he concludes his speech, he says that his presidency is in “good hands.”
“That’s why I have confidence, as I leave this stage tonight, that the Democratic Party is in good hands,” the president said.
“America, you have vindicated that hope these past eight years. And now I’m ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen,” said President Obama. “This year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me – to reject cynicism, reject fear, 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.”