Obama reprised his scathing criticism of Trump on Saturday at a car rally in Miami, his second in-person campaign event on behalf of Biden.
The former president’s remarks were similar to ones he delivered at his debut for the Biden campaign, another drive-in rally Wednesday in Philadelphia, where he homed in on Trump’s failed response to the coronavirus pandemic and said he lacked the character and the work ethic to be president. Trump’s amplification of conspiracy theories, his bullying tendencies, his angry and recriminating tweets and his corruption was “not normal behavior,” Obama said.
He told the crowd that they wouldn’t tolerate such behavior from a co-worker, a high school principal, a coach or a family member.
“‘Florida man’ wouldn’t even do this stuff,” Obama said, to some laughter to the reference to the Internet meme. By contrast, he said Biden would be “a normal president” who would care about American families and have the plans and experience to handle the challenges of the office.
Obama referred back to Trump’s remarks in the presidential debate Thursday, when he alleged the United States was “rounding the corner” on the pandemic and tried to convince people it was time to move on and reopen the country. Several states were in fact reaching record highs this week, Obama said.
“He doesn’t have a plan. He doesn’t even acknowledge the reality of what’s taking place all across the country,” Obama said of his successor.
Obama also recounted a “60 Minutes” interview that Trump walked out of this week after CBS News correspondent Lesley Stahl asked what Trump’s second-term priorities were.
“Folks, If he can’t answer a tough question like, ‘What would you like to do in your second term?’ then it’s our job to make sure he doesn’t get a second term,” Obama said to car honks and cheers. Much later, he added: “If you have to walk out of a ’60 Minutes’ interview, then you’re never going to stand up to a dictator.”
The rest of Obama’s speech focused on the economy, the importance of voting and Biden’s efforts to preserve and expand the Affordable Care Act, which Trump has vowed to dismantle. He also knocked Trump for trying to remove health care away from Americans in the middle of a pandemic.
“He wants full credit for the economy he inherited and zero blame for the pandemic he ignored,” Obama said.
Like all of Biden’s pandemic-era campaign events, Obama’s rally had stringent rules for social distancing. Cars were spaced out in a parking lot of Florida International University campus in Biscayne Bay. Many were decked out with “Biden-Harris” signs and American flags. Some attendees, wearing face masks, sat on the roofs of their vehicles; a few waved Cuban flags, a nod to the sizable Cuban American population in South Florida.
Before the former president took the stage, an announcer told the crowd repeatedly to stay in their vehicles at all times.
“If you happen to venture out of your vehicle, please make sure you can touch your vehicle at all times. And if you can’t touch your vehicle, you are too far!” the announcer said.