Obama Touts Clinton as Strong, Trump as a Sham in Philadelphia Speech
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US President Barack Obama mounted a vigorous defense of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia on Tuesday, praising his would-be successor and slamming her rival, Donald Trump, as uniquely unqualified for the highest office in the land.
Before some 6,000 people in downtown Philadelphia, the US president praised Clinton's stamina and drive without ever addressing the lingering controversies that dominated her campaign over the weekend and Monday.
"This is not me just going through the motions here: I really, really, really want to elect Hillary Clinton president," he said. "Sometimes folks are kind of surprised by that because they remember, 'Man, you guys had a tough fight eight years ago.'"
Running against Clinton in the bitter Democratic primary of 2008, Obama said, was "like climbing up the 'Rocky' steps" – a reference to the famous stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which were in view near Obama during Tuesday's rally, the US News reported.
"Every time I thought I had that thing won, I'd turn around and she was right there," he said. "No matter how many times people mess with her and knock her down, she does not quit."
Those remarks, along with his nod to the nearly 1 million miles Clinton traveled while crisscrossing the globe as secretary of state, surely were meant as a rebuke to those who worried her recent illness was an ominous sign about her ability to serve as president.
Obama also expressed disbelief that some voters, particularly working people, have thrown their support behind "the guy who spent 70 years on this Earth showing no concern for working people."
"This is your champion?" he said. "He spent most of his life staying as far away from working people as he could."
Nor did Obama spare from criticism the press, whom he accused of "grad[ing] the presidency on a curve."
Clinton, he charged, was pilloried by the media for her lack of transparency, while "the other candidate is the first in decades who refuses to release any [tax returns] at all." And while the Clinton Foundation "has saved countless lives around the world," Obama said, "the other candidate's foundation took money other people gave to his charity and then bought a 6-foot-tall painting of himself."
"He had the taste not to go for the 10-foot version," Obama joked.