MIAMI – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that voters would have a chance on Nov. 8 to move history in the right direction by casting a ballot for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Hillary Clinton will move us forward if you give her a chance,” Obama, who was interrupted by ovations and joyful shouts on numerous occasions, said in Miami on the campus of the Florida International University.
Obama tried during his speech to leverage his own popularity to generate enthusiasm for Clinton, who he said had made him a better president and would continue his work.
“Fairness is on the ballot. Decency is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. All the progress we’ve made is on the ballot,” Obama said in his first of two appearances in Florida – the other being in Jacksonville – on Thursday.
He then went on to mention the Democratic presidential nominee’s support for comprehensive immigration reform that would provide a path to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented migrants, a higher minimum wage and equal pay for equal work.
By contrast, he said Trump was “uniquely unqualified” and “temperamentally unfit” to be president.
Obama slammed Trump for not paying taxes for years, advocating torture and proposing a ban on Muslim immigration into the United States.
He also ridiculed the notion that Trump would be the voice of working Americans.
“This is the guy who spent 70 years – his whole life – born with a silver spoon, showing no respect for working people. He’s spent a lot of time with celebrities. Spends a lot of time hanging out with the really wealthy folk. But you don’t see him hanging out with working people unless they’re cleaning his room or mowing the fairways on his golf club,” Obama said.
The president also said that a 2005 tape capturing lewd remarks by Trump, who said his celebrity status allowed him to grope women with impunity, and the Republican candidate’s insults directed at minorities, immigrants and Muslims revealed character traits that would not go away if he were elected.
“Let me tell you something about this office that I’ve been in for eight years. Who you are, what you are does not change after you occupy the Oval Office. All it does is magnify who you are. All it does is shine a spotlight on who you are,” Obama said.
The president emphasized in his speech the critical importance of the tightly contested Sunshine State in Tuesday’s balloting.
“If we win Florida, we will win this election, and it’s in your hands,” Obama said.