Obama campaigns in California urging voters to 'restore' sanity in politics

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Former US president Barack Obama returned to the political fray on Friday, forcefully rebuking his successor Donald Trump and the Republican Party before hitting the campaign trail for Democrats.

Trump mocked Obama's speech before supporters in North Dakota.

The speech at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign comes ahead of Obama's first campaign events of the midterms: a rally for a handful of Democratic congressional candidates in California on Saturday and an event for Richard Cordray, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in OH, next Thursday.

The former president said he rejects the politics of fear and division and said all people deserve equal treatment.

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Democrats are counting on a strong showing in California in November's elections in the battle for congressional control.

After the speech, Obama will travel to California and campaign for more than a half-dozen House Democratic candidates at an event in Orange County. "And to have President Obama come out and tout his policies that resulted in less than 2 percent growth-which saw tax increases, Obamacare regulation, and a doubling of the national debt-I think was it was very disappointing".

He also pointed out, in reaction to Obama's invocation of Fox News, that even though the former president never called the network the enemy of the people, the targeting of reporter James Rosen. "This is not normal".

As Obama spoke, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he believed Sessions should investigate the identity of the author of an anonymous New York Times opinion piece that was sharply critical of his leadership, saying the essay was a "national security issue". CNN reported Trump was closely monitoring the denials, according to a top White House official.

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"What's gonna fix our democracy is you", he said. "That unfortunately has been a spiral that we have been on for the last couple of years". "We are supposed to stand up to discrimination and we are sure as heck to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers".

Obama was referring to Trump's failure to quickly and directly condemn neo-Nazis who marched past year in Charlottesville, Virginia. "He is a symptom, not a cause".

Obama, who has frustrated some Democrats by keeping a relatively low profile since leaving office in January 2017, said Republicans seemed unwilling to safeguard democracy or offer a check on Trump's policies or worst instincts. They aren't accountable."They're not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 per cent of the insane stuff that's coming out of this White House and then saying, 'Don't worry, we're preventing the other 10 per cent.' That's not how things are supposed to work". After his remarks, Obama will be presented the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government in a ceremony at the university president's residence on campus.

After spending much of his post-presidency on the political sidelines, Obama has several events scheduled in coming days where he'll campaign for Democrats. Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins, suggesting they shouldn't have been charged so close to the midterm elections and because they are Republicans.

Barack Obama Rebukes Donald Trump Publicly For First Time
Obama stepped back into the political fray Friday, delivering a speech at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign. His step back into the political arena offered a preview of his message for the fall's midterms.

"The claim that everything will turn out OK because there are people inside the White House who secretly aren't following the president's orders, that is not a check", Obama said.