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Once upon a time — in 1991 — Obama paid a compliment to Donald Trump:

Obama’s association of the American Dream and Donald Trump came from a paper he co-wrote with classmate Robert Fisher at Harvard Law School that year. The paper was called ‘Race and Rights Rhetoric’. The Daily Caller reported that a mention of the paper will appear in a forthcoming Obama biography (emphasis in the original):

“Race and Rights Rhetoric” summed up the American mindset as “a continuing normative commitment to the ideals of individual freedom and mobility, values that extend far beyond the issue of race in the American mind.”

“The depth of this commitment may be summarily dismissed as the unfounded optimism of the average American—I may not be Donald Trump now, but just you wait; if I don’t make it, my children will.”

The excerpt of that previously unpublished law school paper found its way inside Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, the new 1,460-page biography written by Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Garrow that focuses on Obama’s early years.

The paper argued that black Americans should “shift away from rights rhetoric and towards the language of opportunity.”

Fast forward to the present: Obama started his mid-term campaign for the Democrats on Friday, September 7, 2018.

He received the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government award from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, and used his speech to launch an unsurprising attack on President Trump. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

The nation’s first African-American president ripped Trump for his response to the violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.

“We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination,” Obama told an audience at the University of Illinois’ flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign.

“And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?”

Signaling a more direct engagement in get-out-the-vote efforts ahead of the November elections, the former Democratic president took credit for the booming economy Trump loves to tout even as he warned that the nation is at a dangerous crossroads.

“You need to vote because our democracy depends on it,” Obama told the crowd.

The speech is Obama’s first major foray into politics as Democrats scramble to win back control of Congress in the midterms.

USA Today had more:

Speaking to a packed auditorium with about 1,100 students, faculty and community members, he said young people are coming of age during a time when the powerful and privileged are pushing back on America’s ideals.

“It did not start with Donald Trump,” Obama said. “He is a symptom, not the cause. He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.”

The solution, he said, is not the purported resistance movement inside the administration that is working to thwart Trump’s worst impulses, as described by a senior official who this week wrote an anonymous New York Times op-ed. Obama said that’s not how democracy is supposed to work.

“They’re not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the crazy stuff that’s coming out of this White House, and then saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’re preventing the other 10 percent,'” he said. “There is actually only one real check on bad policy and abuses of power, and that’s you. You and your vote.”

The Gateway Pundit exposed Obama’s claims (emphases in the original).

On the economic crisis of 2008-2009, which Obama said resulted in a healthier economy:

Truth: Obama was the first president in history to not have a single year of 3.0% GDP growth.

On Obamacare, which he said covered an additional 20 million Americans:

Truth: Obamacare covered 21 million but 28 million Americans remained uninsured. It was a failed government boondoggle that ruined US health industry.

On the national deficit, which he claimed to have reduced by half:

Truth: The last Bush deficit was over $400 billion. Obama immediately increased the deficit by a trillion dollars. It was at $600 billion when he left office.

On job numbers, which he claimed were unchanged from his time in office:

Truth: Manufacturing jobs are up by 400,000 under President Trump. Obama lost 303,000 manufacturing jobs as president.

President Trump was campaigning in Fargo, North Dakota, that morning for Rep. Kevin Cramer. These were his reactions:

Track records: Obama versus Trump

Let us look at the presidents’ respective track records —  and other aspects of Obama’s speech — in more detail.

The economy

Obama took full credit for Trump’s economic success:

Former Arkansas governor, past Republican presidential candidate and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s father said:

This is because Obama made negative noises about jobs and the economy during his eight years as president. During the 2016 campaign, he chided candidate Trump, saying he’d have to find a ‘magic wand’ to fulfil his promises:

This graphic by Dixon Diaz presents the contradiction nicely:

The Gateway Pundit‘s Jim Hoft posted a great comparison between the two presidents on September 8. Excerpts follow (emphases in the original):

After President Obama was elected President the already low stock market crashed.  When Trump was elected the stock market skyrocketed.  The markets are a gauge of the economy and include expectations of the future.

The day President Obama was elected President, November 4th, 2008, the DOW stood at 9,625.  Immediately however, the DOW began to tank and by March 9, 2009, the DOW could go down no further as it landed at 6,547 for a decrease of more than 30%.

After President Trump was elected the DOW exploded.  On November 8th, 2016, the DOW stood at 18,332.  Since that date the DOW has soared and it never looked back.

Not only has the DOW skyrocketed since Donald Trump was elected President, the market’s rise is record breaking.  Since the 2016 election, the DOW has closed at new record all-time highs 99 times!  (President Obama never saw a new all-time high in the DOW his entire first term and only saw 105 all-time closing highs from his first election win until Trump’s.) …

Also, President Trump didn’t ride an Obama wave, the DOW under Obama went down in 2015 and stayed relatively flat until the 2016 election.

The Russell 2000 is a major index of US small cap stocks recognized throughout the financial industry. The 2000 companies in the Russell 2000 are the bottom 2000 companies in the Russell 3000. These companies have seen incredible results as well since President Trump was elected President.  The Russell 2000 reached 31 new highs in 2017 and this year already has reached 30 new all-time highs. 

The Russell 2000 never reached a new high in Obama’s first 600 days and only reached 3 new all-time highs in his entire first term!  The other major indices are all the same, recording massive gains since President Trump was elected into office with dismal results in Obama’s first 600 days in office.

According to Rex Sinquefield at Forbes in October of 2016 –

The Obama recovery of the last seven years remains the worst in postwar American history. Average gross domestic product (GDP) growth since the bottom of the recession in 2009 was barely above 2.1% per year. The average since 1949 is well above 4% per year during the previous 10 expansions.

This result is not just bad, it is catastrophic …  

President Trump however last quarter reached a GDP of 4.2%.

In regards to debt, President Obama increased the amount of US debt astronomically.  By the time Obama left office he had doubled the US debt to $20 trillion and incurred as much debt as all previous Presidents combined.  President Trump is slowing that trend.

In his first 600 days, in spite of increasing interest rates and the massive debt that he inherited, President Trump’s debt increase is around half that of Obama’s ($1.5 trillion).

As a result, the debt to GDP ratio is going down.  President Obama increased the US debt to GDP ratio by 40% from around 60% in 2009 to over 100% in 2016.

With his increasing GDP and slowing of debt increases, President Trump has managed to decrease the debt to GDP ratio in his first 600 days in office.  This is a very good result that is rarely mentioned by the MSM …

Trump bested Obama by 804,000 manufacturing jobs since taking over White House when compared to the 19 months prior to the 2016 election!  These high paying jobs are the same jobs that Obama said would never come back.

In President Obama’s first 600 days in office, the US lost over (4.4) million jobs.  In President Trump’s first 600 days in office, the US has gained over 3.4 million jobs.

In summary, in every major economic category, President Trump’s economy is moving in the right direction and is mostly record breaking.  In comparison, President Obama’s economy his first 600 days were some of the worst months in US economic history. President Trump has reversed the Obama economic nightmare.

Benghazi

Obama also spoke about Benghazi, which his opponents hoped would prevent him getting re-elected. Not only was he re-elected but the Benghazi investigation, which started early in 2013 and finished in 2016, was a damp squib. As K T McFarland wrote for Fox News in 2015:

The Benghazi Committee set out to investigate why four Americans died in Benghazi September 11, 2012, not to damage a presidential candidate. Rightly or wrongly, their credibility has been called into question, including by statements from fellow Republicans.

On Friday, Obama called the unanswered questions surrounding Benghazi a ‘conspiracy theory’:

Kris Paronto, an Army Ranger, is a Benghazi survivor. He had strong words for Obama:

Censorship

Obama claimed he took the high road when it came to opposition in the media:

Radio host Dana Loesch (pron. ‘Lash’) tweeted:

This chap with a parody account (he’s not a congressman), pointed out:

Nazis

Obama criticised Trump for tolerating Nazis in American society:

He obviously hasn’t been reading the news, because on August 21, ICE arrested and deported the last Nazi in the US:

95-year-old Jakiw Palij — the last known Nazi collaborator living in the United States — at his home in Queens, New York, and deported him to Germany.

“President Trump commends his Administration’s comprehensive actions, especially ICE’s actions, in removing this war criminal from United States soil,” the Office of the Press Secretary said in a statement. “Despite a court ordering his deportation in 2004, past administrations were unsuccessful in removing Palij.”

“To protect the promise of freedom for Holocaust survivors and their families, President Trump prioritized the removal of Pali,” the statement continued. “Through extensive negotiations, President Trump and his team secured Palij’s deportation to Germany and advanced the United States’ collaborative efforts with a key European ally.”

Trump’s ambassador to Germany jumped on the issue straightaway, pointing out that Obama himself did nothing. Oh, the irony!

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement from the White House. She, too, mentions that past administrations, e.g. Obama’s, were ineffectual in this regard:

In summary …

Former Fox News host Eric Bolling summed up the respective presidential records as follows:

Other views

There were serious reasons why Americans voted for Trump in 2016, as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) said:

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina) tweeted:

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino called the former president ‘divisive’:

… and had an interesting take:

Conclusion

There’s only one more thing that needs to be said:

Obama needed his words thrown back at him. Glad to see someone did so.

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