U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday threw his support behind Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, as he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
In his remarks, Obama said “with confidence” that there isn't another person more fit to be President than Clinton.
He began by recalling his first speech before the Democratic convention in 2004, and said he is “more optimistic than ever before” about America's future.
The reason for the optimism, he said, is that the economy has recovered, job creation is healthy, health care is now an American right, because the U.S. is weaning from foreign oil, troops are coming home, and “we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.”
Obama also listed the Iran deal, the improvement of relations with Cuba, the Paris climate deal, student loans, consumer protection, combat veteran homelessness, and marriage equality as successful.
“The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous. Sure, we have real anxieties – about paying the bills, protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent. We get frustrated with political gridlock, worry about racial divisions; are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice. There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures; men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten. Parents who wonder whether their kids will have the same opportunities we have,” the President said.
“All that is real; we’re challenged to do better; to be better. But as I’ve traveled this country, through all fifty states; as I’ve rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I’ve also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America. I see people working hard and starting businesses; people teaching kids and serving our country. I see a younger generation full of energy and new ideas, unconstrained by what is, and ready to seize what ought to be,” he added.
“That’s the America I know. And there is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, and has devoted her life to it; a mother and grandmother who’d do anything to help our children thrive; a leader with real plans to break down barriers, blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American – the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton,” said the President.
He recalled being Clinton's rival for the Democratic nomination in 2008, adding, “We battled for a year and a half. Let me tell you, it was tough, because Hillary’s tough. Every time I thought I might have that race won, Hillary just came back stronger.”
“But after it was all over, I asked Hillary to join my team. She was a little surprised, but ultimately said yes – because she knew that what was at stake was bigger than either of us. And for four years, I had a front-row seat to her intelligence, her judgment, and her discipline. I came to realize that her unbelievable work ethic wasn’t for praise or attention – that she was in this for everyone who needs a champion. I understood that after all these years, she has never forgotten just who she’s fighting for,” said Obama.
“You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. Until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis or send young people to war. But Hillary’s been in the room; she’s been part of those decisions. She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes for the working family, the senior citizen, the small business owner, the soldier, and the veteran,” said Obama.
“Even in the middle of crisis,” continued Obama, “she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds; no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.”
“That’s the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire. And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America,” he stated.
During the speech there were boos at the sound of the name of Republican nominee Donald Trump, to which Obama replied, “Don't boo. Vote.”
“The Donald is not really a plans guy. He's not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who have achieved success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated,” he continued.
“Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion?” added Obama.
Clinton, said the President, has “worked closely with our intelligence teams, our diplomats, our military. And she has the judgment, the experience, and the temperament to meet the threat from terrorism. It’s not new to her. Our troops have pounded ISIL (an alternative acronym for ISIS -ed.) without mercy, taking out leaders, taking back territory. I know Hillary won’t relent until ISIL is destroyed. She’ll finish the job – and she’ll do it without resorting to torture, or banning entire religions from entering our country. She is fit to be the next Commander-in-Chief.”
“America is already great. America is already strong. Our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump. It doesn't depend on any one person,” he declared.
Trump “is betting that if he scares enough people, he might just secure enough votes to win this election. And that's another bet that Donald Trump will lose. And the reason he’ll lose it is because he’s selling the American people short.”
“Tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me. I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me,” said Obama. “America, you have vindicated that hope these past eight years. And now I’m ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen. This year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me – to reject cynicism, reject fear, to summon what’s best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation.”