These are extraordinary times.
"It did not start with Donald Trump", Obama said. "I have to say this to President Obama - if the Dems got in with their agenda in November of nearly 2 years ago, instead of having 4.2 [GDP] up, i believe honestly we'd have 4.2 down.This is not called a recovery, this is called a rocket ship".
The portrayal of an administration in crisis was reinforced Wednesday when The New York Times published a bombshell account from "a senior official in the Trump administration" that illustrated a behind-the-scene "resistance".
"That's not how our democracy is supposed to work. And they're not giving up until we have a Congress that sees your lives are more important than a campaign check from the NRA". "There is actually only one check on bad policy and abuses of power, and that's you and your vote". "That's you. You and your vote".
Obama delivered a speech Friday at the University of IL that included several broadsides at Trump while rarely mentioning his name.
"I'm sorry. I watched it, but I fell asleep. I found he's very good.for sleeping".
Obama's appearance in Anaheim benefits Democrats running in the traditionally Republican Orange County.
The speech was a departure from the lengthy and direct rebuke of Trump he delivered on Friday, where he mentioned the current President two times and lambasted him for leaning on law enforcement to protect Republicans from prosecution, slammed him for "cozying up" to Russian President Vladimir Putin and faulted him for equivocating about who was at fault during the white supremacist protests past year in Charlottesville, Virginia. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeted.
During his speech, Obama also railed against current president Donald Trump for "capitalizing on resentment that politicians have been fanning for years", as well as for demonizing America's free press as enemies of the state, stoking fear and lying to the American public, and implementing discriminatory polices.
"I wish he had gone a little harder on Trump", said Lee Rice, 73, an electrician from Oakdale in California's central valley.More news: Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Florence
"They're undermining our alliances, cozying up to Russian Federation", he said.
Citing the rise of the far-right and its trafficking in conspiracy theories - including the origins of his birthplace and a war on "science and facts" - Obama asked: "What happened to the Republican party?"
Obama is re-entering the public eye two months before voters head to the polls for the midterm elections on November 6.
"As a fellow citizen, not as an ex-president".
"You need to vote because our democracy depends on it".
But, Mr Obama added, when there is a vacuum in democracy, "other voices fill the void". He said the biggest threat to democracy isn't Trump but "indifference".
Republicans shrugged off Obama's criticism.
And Republicans welcomed Obama's return to the campaign trail on Friday, arguing he is the best weapon they have to motivate their base.
He also excoriated the Republican party.
Citing a history of lack of civic involvement and engagement by younger voters, Obama said the "antidote" to Trump's government was "a government by the organized, energized, inclusive many".
Former First Lady Michelle Obama, a co-chair of the group When We All Vote, is also getting involved.