With Hillary Clinton off the trail recovering from pneumonia, Democrats sent in the surrogate-in-chief to make the case that she’s a warrior and that Donald Trump is unfit to run the country.
President Obama repeatedly praised Clinton’s dogged energy while ripping Trump
“She worked hard, tirelessly, flying around the world again and again… because she had never forgotten what she was fighting for,” he said of his former secretary of state, after talking up how hard she was to defeat in their 2008 primary. “No matter how many times people knock her down and mess with her, she does not quit.”
Obama had been long scheduled for the Philadelphia rally. But his speech — the first for Clinton since the Democratic National Convention and his first solo appearance for her — took on additional importance after the roughest campaign stretch in months for Clinton. The former secretary of state was laid up with pneumonia after her campaign hid the fact she was sick until she was forced to leave a Sunday 9/11 memorial early, unsteady on her feet as she left.
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While Obama never mentioned her illness, he defended Clinton’s vigor — and slammed the press for the way the campaign has been covered and voters for not recognizing the hard work she’s done.
“What sets Hillary apart is through it all she just keeps on going, and she doesn’t stop caring and she doesn’t stop trying and she never stops fighting of us even if we haven’t always appreciated it.
“You can’t stay home because ‘she’s been around for a long time.’ You know what? This is not reality TV,” he said.
Hillary Clinton is all smiles outside her daughter’s Manhattan apartment Sunday, after her campaign reported Sunday she felt “overheated” at the 9/11 memorial ceremony.
Obama took aim at Trump, saying he sees Russian President Vladimir Putin as his “role model” after Trump’s repeated praise of the Russian strongman.
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“I have to do business with Putin … but I don’t go around saying ‘that’s my role model,'” he said derisively.
Obama had planned to speak at the rally, but couldn’t have anticipated being the headliner before Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia. (CAROLYN KASTER/AP)
Obama also expressed irritation at the media for his view that there’s been false equivalence in how she and Trump have been covered.
“I sure do get frustrated with the way this campaign is covered … You don’t grade the presidency on a curve. This is serious business,” he said, arguing Clinton has faced “more scrutiny and what I believe is more unfair criticism than anybody out here, and she doesn’t complain about it.”
Obama criticized the uneven media coverage Clinton’s campaign receives versus that of Donald Trump. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
At one point, someone appeared to faint in the crowd, a pattern that’s been happening for backers of both candidates in recent days at campaign events. Obama responded by advising everyone to bend their knees.