PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Former President Barack Obama looked to fire up the Democratic base on Friday as he campaigned for Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey in Philadelphia. President Donald Trump won the Keystone State during the 2016 election.
At a campaign rally at the Dell Music Center in Philadelphia, Obama implored Pennsylvanians to vote in November because the election was more consequential than any he could remember.
“This time, it really is different. This time, the stakes really are higher,” Obama said. “The consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are far more dangerous.”
Obama said voters have “a chance to restore some sanity to our politics” by casting their ballot in the midterm elections.
“On Nov. 6th, you can tip the balance of power back to the people. Because there’s only one real check on bad policy and there’s only one real check on the abuse of power and that is you, the American people standing up and deciding to cast your ballot,” said Obama.
Obama also touched on the fact how Pennsylvania doesn’t have any women representing the state in Congress.
“Pennsylvania’s a great state, but let me just say Pennsylvania right now, you have no women in Congress. You can send seven democratic women to Washington if you vote. And I will tell you – and Michelle didn’t put me up to this – stuff works better when women are involved,” the former president said.
In the Nov. 6 contests, Democrats are trying to oust Republicans in four U.S. House districts and more than a dozen state legislative seats in the Philadelphia area alone. Obama twice carried Pennsylvania in his presidential races, and Democrats hope the state can help them retake control of Congress from the GOP.
Casey’s Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, told The Associated Press that Obama’s visit will stir up GOP voters in an election year when their party faces an uphill battle to retain its Capitol Hill majorities. Obama will “energize those blue-collar Democrats who worried about their jobs under Obama and went out to vote for Donald Trump,” Barletta said.
Democrats in other states where Obama has campaigned recently say his stops have drawn big crowds, giving the party a chance to organize, update voter contact lists, motivate new donors and boost volunteerism.
Obama’s trip is the latest in a string of appearances before the midterm elections. While his full schedule is taking shape, aides said he is considering how best to help candidates throughout the country.
Obama has endorsed more than 80 Democrats in more than a dozen states. A second round of endorsements is expected this fall.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)