Former President Barack Obama broke his promise to stay quiet after leaving office, condemning the path of the United States under President Donald Trump.
“Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you that this really is different,” Obama said about the upcoming midterm election being “most important” in their lifetime.
Obama acknowledged that he wished to address the country as a “fellow citizen” not an “ex-president” but said that the moment was too great to remain silent.
The former president addressed students at the University of Illinois, criticizing everything about Trump’s presidency, calling it a “dark” period of American history.
He reminded them that periods of progress in American were frequently followed by periods of resistance to change and a “step back.”
He pointed to the rise of white-nationalism and racial division and condemned Republicans for stoking resentment to remain in power.
“Over the past few decades the politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican party,” Obama said.
He implied that his presidency was a period of progress, that was followed by Trump.