Former President Barack Obama lit into Republicans, specifically White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, over their failure to contain the coronavirus pandemic or pass a healthcare law to replace his signature policy, Obamacare.
During his second stop in Michigan with 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, his two-term vice president, Obama riffed off of Meadows’ admission last week that the U.S. wouldn’t “control” the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We’ve got his chief of staff saying, he said this on TV, ‘We’re not going to control the pandemic.’ Flat out just said it,” Obama said Saturday in Detroit of President Trump’s top aide. “We noticed. Yes, you’re right. And that’s why we’ve got to have Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House.”
Obama similarly dinged Republicans for promising to ensure healthcare coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, but struggling to turn any of their proposals into law.
“It’s the same place they put the pandemic playbook we gave them,” he said, the small drive-in rally crowd chanting “no plan, no plan.” “It’s lost. It’s gone. Missing.”
While waiting for a technical glitch that cut-out his microphone to be fixed, an audience member asked after the former first lady.
“Michelle’s home. She says hey,” Obama said.
Though on the road to support his ex-lieutenant before the Nov. 3 election, Obama used the opportunity to defend his own legacy.
“A president by himself can’t eliminate all racial bias in our criminal justice system. Electing me, it didn’t make us post-racial,” he said. “That’s what voting’s about: it’s not about making things perfect, it’s about making things better.”
Biden, following Obama’s address, asked the crowd whether they felt “nostalgic” listening to his former boss. He too mocked Trump, this time over the New York Times report that the president wrote off $70,000 for hairstyling while starring in his NBC reality TV show, The Apprentice.
“l’ll tell you what man, I hardly have any hair, but I’d rather have what I have,” Biden said.
Obama also has appearances scheduled in Florida and Georgia on Monday for Biden.