Former President Barack Obama spent a sizable amount of time in a speech he gave in IL on Friday criticizing Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump, while stressing the importance of voting in the fast-approaching midterm elections.
In his first major political speech since leaving the White House, Obama made a lengthy appeal to voters across the U.S. to restore "a healthy democracy", and denounced the tactics employed by Trump and Republicans in Washington as an unprecedented threat to the country's future. "I've found he's very good, very good for sleeping".
Obama's speech in the university's 1,300-person auditorium has seen sizable interest from the school's student body, according to university spokesman Jon Davis, who said they had received around 22,000 requests for tickets.
Obama, who had frustrated some Democrats by keeping a relatively low profile since leaving office in January 2017, accused Republicans of being unwilling to safeguard democracy or offer a check on Trump's policies or worst instincts.
After the speech, Obama will travel to California and campaign for more than a half-dozen House Democratic candidates at an event in Orange County.More news: Jordan Henderson signs new long-term Liverpool contract
"There is no one else in the Democratic Party that is able to focus people's attention on an issue the way that he can", said Patrick Rodenbush, the communications director for the Holder group, for which Obama recently sat to shoot a promotional video. "He's just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been capitalizing on for years", Obama said.
Obama directed the major portion of his remarks at disaffected voters, saying they can not afford to not cast a ballot in the fall.
Cordray is a former Obama appointee who was director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
But Obama and his aides have said he would jump into the fray if he saw norms being violated or core achievements overturned.
The 44th president of the United States was also scathing about Mr Trump's initial restraint when asked past year to condemn far-right protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.More news: Leahy presses Kavanaugh over emails stolen by Republican operative
"We're supposed to stand up to discrimination", Obama said.
"In the end, the threat to our democracy doesn't just come from Donald Trump or the current batch of Republicans in Congress", he said. "We're supposed to stand up to bullies. You've got to vote".
The speech in Obama's home state was a preview of the arguments he is expected to make on the campaign trail. Next week he'll be in OH to campaign for Richard Cordray and other Democrats.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama is also stepping up her political involvement ahead of the November midterm election.More news: Mourinho jokes over cost of Man United sacking him