With Trump out of the White House, “you might be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner without an argument," Obama told the crowd. "You’ll be able to go about your lives knowing that the president is not going to retweet conspiracy theories about secret cabals running the world or that Navy Seals didn’t actually kill Bin Laden. Think about that. The president of the United States retweeted that. Imagine.”
The former president's remarks at a socially distanced drive-in car rally held at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia’s major league baseball stadium, targeted his successor's demeanor as president, how and to whom he pays taxes and how he has handled the coronavirus pandemic. The rally was the last of three campaign stops Obama made in the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania.
Teeing off on his successor, Obama said that Trump hasn’t shown interest in doing the work of the president or helping anyone but himself and his friends and treating the presidency like a reality show.
"And by the way, even his TV ratings are down, so you know that upsets him," Obama said. "The thing is this is not a reality show, this is reality and the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously."
And pointing to the coronavirus pandemic and the economy that it flattened, Obama said under Trump’s watch at least 220,000 Americans have died, more than 100,000 small businesses have closed, millions of jobs are gone.
"The only people truly better off than they were four years ago were the billionaires who got his tax cuts," he said.
The former president also spoke about a new report that Trump Organization has a secret Chinese bank account.
"Can you imagine if I had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for re-election?” Obama asked the crowd.
The bank account is held by Trump International Hotels Management LLC and paid $188,561 in taxes in China from 2013 to 2015, the New York Times reported. Trump Organization attorney Alan Garten told the Times the bank account was opened for the purpose of paying local taxes as the company attempted “to explore the potential for hotel deals in Asia.”
Obama also spotlighted a report last month that the president paid only $750 in taxes his first year in the White House, argued that “of the taxes Donald Trump pays, he may be sending more to foreign governments than he pays in the United States., His first year in the White House he only paid $750 in federal income taxes. Listen, my first job was at a Baskin Robins when I was 15 years. I think I might have paid more taxes that year dispensing ice cream. How is that possible?”
And Obama – targeting the president’s efforts combating the coronavirus – said that Biden – if elected is “not going to screw up testing, he’s not going to call scientists idiots, he’s not going to host a super spreader event at the White House. Joe will get this pandemic under control.”
The Trump re-election campaign took aim at Biden hours before Obama arrived in Philadelphia.
“Joe Biden is clearly not up to the rigors of campaigning for president, so he’s calling in Barack Obama as a reinforcement,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said.
For Trump, having his predecessor in the White House out on the campaign trail provided another target.
The president has worked hard to undo some of the major achievements during Obama’s tenure in the White House, from trying to scrap the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, to taking the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accords and the Iranian nuclear treaty.
Trump has repeatedly criticized his predecessor, by stating how ineffective a president he was.
"President Obama did not do a good job and the reason I’m here is because of President Obama and Joe Biden. Because if they did a good job I wouldn’t be here,” Trump argued in August.
And this past weekend at a rally in Macon, Ga., Trump spoke about Obama’s tireless campaigning for Clinton in the closing weeks leading up to the 2016 election.
"He campaigned harder for Hillary than she did," Trump said. "He was very ineffective as a campaigner.
Biden holds a mid-single digit advantage over the president in the latest polling in Pennsylvania. But Obama urged against complacency.
Pointing to Trump's come from behind victory in Pennsylvania and other key swing states four years ago that helped him upset Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and win the White House, Obama warned “we can’t have any doubt. We can’t be complacent.”
And he stressed that “I don’t care about the polls. There were a whole bunch of polls last time – didn’t work out because a whole bunch of folks stayed home and got lazy and complacent. Not this time. Not in this election.”
Obama arrived at the rally after speaking with volunteers outside of a Democratic Voter Activation Center. He began his campaign swing in Philadelphia by joining a “shop talk” conversation with Black male leaders that was held at the Hank Gathers Youth Access Center.
At the center he was asked “why should young Black men care to be engaged in the political process,” the former president acknowledged that his presidency didn’t solve all of the nation’s problems. But he said that “the answer for young people when I talk to them is not that voting makes everything perfect…it’s that it makes things better.”
The Biden campaign announced on Wednesday night that Obama will campaign for the former vice president in Miami, Florida on Saturday.
With 29 electoral votes up for grabs, Florida is the largest of the traditional battleground states. The latest polling in the state indicates an incredibly close contest between Biden and Trump.