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In his speech, which lasted almost an hour, he worked through several major election issues, such as the economy and the pandemic and touched on others as he continued to lash Trump.
“Let me just see a show of hands, how many people here have a secret Chinese bank account?” Obama asked, referring to a story that emerged in the week that Trump had paid more than $200,000 in taxes in China, weeks after it emerged his federal income tax liability in the US was far less.
“His first year in the White House he only paid $750 in federal income tax,” Obama said.
“You’ve got secretaries, you’ve got construction workers, you got your health care workers, nurses, who pay a lot more in income taxes than that.”
There was a staunch defense of Obamacare, his signature Affordable Care Act, which provided millions more Americans with affordable health insurance, that Republicans have tried numerous times to dismantle during the Trump administration. “When they’re asked about it they say, ‘Well look, we’re gonna have a great replacement. It’s coming. It’s gonna be there in two weeks.’ They’ve never had a replacement. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.
“They’ve attacked the Affordable Care Act and every time they’ve driven up costs, they’re driving up the uninsured. Now they’re trying to get the Supreme Court to take away your health care as we speak, in the middle of a pandemic,” referring to the high court’s hearing into the constitutionality of the ACA on 10 November.
Appealing to Florida’s sizeable Hispanic demographic, Obama had harsh words for Trump’s handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, and efforts by some among Miami’s Cuban and Venezuelan communities to portray Biden as an extreme socialist.
“Listening to the Republicans, you’d think Joe was more communist than the Castros. Don’t fall for that garbage,” Obama said.
Former President Barack Obama is slamming Donald Trump for his response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, asserting that his successor is not going to "suddenly protect all of us" when he isn't taking the "basic steps" of COVID protection himself.
During the drive-in rally for Democratic nominee and his former vice president Joe Biden at the Florida International University campus in Biscayne, Obama spoke out against the way Trump has been handling the pandemic, telling voters that because of the president's actions — or lack thereof — "the rest of us have to live with the consequences."
"Eight months into this pandemic, eight months into this pandemic, new cases are breaking records," Obama, 59, explained. "Donald Trump isn't going to suddenly protect all of us. He can't even take the basic steps to protect himself."
Trump was hospitalized with the virus earlier this month and received a mix of steroids, antivirals and experimental antibody treatments. He has frequently shown his disdain for wearing masks, either by not complying or mocking them.
"There's no sense that he's coming up with a new approach, with a new plan. He doesn't even acknowledge that there's a problem," Obama continued. "Just this week, he complained that the pandemic was making him go back to work. If he had been working in the first place, we never would have seen the situation get this bad."
Earlier this week, on Wednesday, Obama gave another scathing takedown of Trump during a rare in-person campaign appearance in Philadelphia.
In his speech, the Democrat again derided Trump for his response to the pandemic, which has so far led to the deaths of more than 220,000 Americans, according to a New York Times tracker.
"Presidents up for re-election usually ask if the country is better off than it was four years ago," Obama said. "I’ll tell you one thing: Four years ago you’d be tailgating here at the Lincoln instead of watching a speech from your cars."
Former President Obama on Thursday appeared to take a jab at President Trump’s refusal to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden.
During an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" to promote his new memoir, Kimmel jokingly asked if there were places in the White House that people could hide in if they were being removed.
“Well, I think we can always send the Navy SEALs in there to dig them out,” Obama said in response.
President Trump has refused to concede the election to Biden, despite Biden winning by a comfortable margin. His campaign has mounted several legal challenges in an attempt to delay or halt vote certification in several states.
Trump’s refusal has caused issues for Biden’s transition. The General Services Administration has yet to issue an ascertainment that Biden is president-elect, which has delayed access to millions in federal funding for the incoming administration. In addition, Biden is not receiving daily presidential intelligence briefings.
Democrats and health officials have grown furious at Trump for obstructing the White House, warning that this could endanger lives amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During his appearance on "Kimmel," Obama said he wished the transition was going better, noting “we lose time during these crises.” He noted that former President George W. Bush ordered his team to work with Obama’s during the transition in 2008, which was happening in the middle of the financial crisis.
“Could not have been more gracious, could not have been more helpful,” Obama said. “And that actually helped us be able to get a head start on trying to stem what could have been a great depression instead of a great recession.”
The presidential @potus Twitter handle will automatically transfer to President-elect Joe Biden the moment he’s sworn in at noon on Inauguration Day — whether or not President Donald Trump has conceded, the company confirmed to POLITICO on Friday.
Same goes for @whitehouse, @vp, @flotus, and a handful other official accounts associated with the presidency.
“Twitter is actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021,” Twitter spokesperson Nick Pacilio said in an email. “As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records Administration.”
The handover requires no sharing of information between the outgoing Trump team and incoming Biden team, according to the company. All existing tweets on those accounts will be archived and Twitter will transfer the accounts — reset to zero tweets — to the Biden White House that day.
Why it matters: Trump has protested Biden’s victory, even though results released by election officials clearly give the race to Biden. GSA, the federal agency responsible for triggering the start of the formal presidential transition process, has thus far declined to do so. That has delayed the Biden team’s access to everything from office space and to government email addresses, and even blocked them from using the .gov domain to host an official transition website.
But even should Trump continue to contest his loss and fight his removal from the White House on Jan. 20, he won’t have a say in whether he hangs on to one of the presidency’s main digital assets.
The dynamic is a reflection of the hugely consequential role Twitter has played in American politics in the Trump era, and the considerable power the company wields.