By Paul Kurtz

NEWARK, N.J. (CBS) — The Democratic candidate for governor of New Jersey got some help from a heavyweight on Thursday — former President Barack Obama.

He’s been out of the political arena for nine months, but in Newark on Thursday, the former president jumped back in on behalf of Phil Murphy, telling supporters that they can send a message to the world next month.

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Without mentioning President Donald Trump by name, Obama said the country has slid back to the bad old days of racial and political divisiveness.

Obama spoke to about 1,000 supporters of Murphy, who has been holding a double-digit lead over Republican Lt. Governor Kim Guadano.

His return to campaigning comes nearly a year after Hillary Clinton suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of Trump.

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