Obama speaks at rally for Democratic congressional candidates in California

Obama speaks at rally for Democratic congressional candidates in California

Obama speaks at rally for Democratic congressional candidates in California

Following a fiery appearance in his home state of IL, former President Barack Obama brought a softer tone Saturday to Orange County, California - a traditional GOP stronghold.

"Some of you may think I'm exaggerating when I say this November's elections are more important than any I can remember in my lifetime", Obama said Friday.

"He's just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years", the former president added.

But today, the former president made clear the consequences of being quiet -- of polite presidential deference - have become too "dire".

But he dropped that political reticence in IL, the state where he launched his own political career, saying a vote against Republicans could restore "honesty and decency and lawfulness" to government.

"We are bound by the notion that this is a government of and by and for the people", he said.

"It's as old as time".

The county's economy has evolved to more services and high-tech jobs that attract white-collar workers who are inclined to vote Democratic.

"If we don't step up, things can get worse", the former president told the audience at the Anaheim Convention Center. "And when people stop showing up, like in 2010 and 2014 where fewer people voted, a vacuum forms, and a politics of fear and resentment fills that void".

Trump quickly responded on Friday, telling a crowd in Fargo, North Dakota, that he "fell asleep" watching Obama's speech. At a fundraiser in North Dakota, the USA president told a crowd of supporters: "I watched it, but I fell asleep". Trump also bashed Obama for trying to take credit for the US' recent economic success, marked by record low unemployment and modest wage growth.

Former President Barack Obama on Friday took direct aim at President Donald Trump for the first time since leaving office, in a speech at the University of IL in which he urged young people to participate in the 2018 midterm elections.

"You can not sit back and wait for a savior", Obama said. "The stakes really are higher".

"Democrats need all hands on deck to take back the House, and we could not be more honored to have President Barack Obama's inspirational voice and unifying message on the campaign trail", Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Ben Ray Luján said.

He later added: "This is not normal". He has also said the Times should reveal the author "for National Security purposes" and that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should investigate.

"Your version of America is not the America we want", Pirro said on Saturday night in a message to Obama.

"What happened to the Republican Party?" he asked rhetorically. I'm not making that up.

"That's not how our democracy is supposed to work".

CNN reported Trump was closely monitoring the denials, according to a top White House official. I am being serious here. These people aren't elected.

He criticized Republicans for taking credit for an economic recovery that began under his presidency, and for enabling Trump to pressure the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice to punish his political enemies.

He also criticised Mr Trump's response to the violence a year ago at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in the death of one person.

Obama argued that, "We are supposed to stand up to discrimination and we are sure as heck to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers".

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