“What we have seen over the last couple of years is a White House enabled by Republicans in Congress and a media structure that supports them — that has not just differed in terms of policy, but has gone at the very foundations of who we are and who we should be. That suggests facts don’t matter, science doesn’t matter. That suggests that a deadly disease is fake news. That sees the Justice Department as simply an extension and arm of the personal concerns of the president. That actively promotes division, and considers some people in this country more real as Americans than others,” Obama said while sharing a split screen with the presumptive Democratic nominee.
The former president went on to discuss the optimism he feels about the “Great Awakening going on around the country particularly among younger people” who are demanding substantive change to policing and other national matters.
He touted their eagerness “to take on some of the core challenges that have been facing this country for centuries,” as a reason for his continued faith in progress being made by left-wing activism.
Still, Obama said, having hope would not be sufficient.
“I appreciate you all being on this call but man, this is serious business. Whatever you’ve done so far is not enough. And I hold myself and Michelle and my kids to the same standard.”
“We have this unique chance to translate a growing awareness of injustice in society into actual legislation and institutional change…and those moments don’t come too often,” the 44th president warned.
Turning back to his successor, Obama slammed the Trump administration again, arguing that “Unlike our current president, we recognize that we have a public health crisis going on,” referring to the coronavirus pandemic.
Discussing how campaigns would need to be structured differently in the wake of the pandemic — which forced Biden to begin campaigning virtually from his Delaware home — Obama bemoaned President Trump for not heeding the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force.
“Poor Dr. Fauci who has to testify and then see his advice flouted by the person who he’s working for. We’ve got to pay attention to what the public health experts say when it comes to this campaign season.”
Touting his work with Biden by referring to his administration as “our presidency,” the former president cautioned supporters in an effort to keep them engaged, warning of the momentum President Trump has walking into the election as an incumbent.
“We can’t be complacent or smug or sense that somehow it’s so obvious that this president hasn’t done a good job because, look, he won once,” Obama said without mentioning Trump by name.
In continuing his warning, Obama argued that the mass protests taking place nationwide against police brutality toward minorities and the murder of George Floyd did not guarantee that Biden would oust Trump in 2020.
“Just because this energy is out there does not mean that it assures our victory and it does not mean that it gets channeled in a way that results in real change,” he said.
The former commander-in-chief went on to say that the United States was unique for having a major political party that “actively discourages people from voting,” a clear jab at Republicans’ opposition to mail-in-voting amid the pandemic.
The effort to warn and engage supporters appears to have paid off. The virtual fundraiser raised $7.6 million from 175,000 small-dollar donations averaging $25, as well as an additional $3.4 million from a private online portion of the event that was held for high-dollar donors, the Biden campaign confirmed to The Post.
In total, the campaign raised over $11 million in one evening, shattering a fundraising record for Team Biden previously held by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), whose fundraiser for the former VP brought in $6 million.