MILWAUKEE — Former President Barack Obama criticized what he called Republican hypocrisy on Friday during a rally with Democrats in Wisconsin, claiming that conservatives have shown themselves not to be trusted on issues ranging from health care to national security and the deficit.
Mr. Obama’s impassioned plea came just 11 days before November’s midterm elections, in a state where Democrats are hoping to hold a Senate seat, make gains in Republican-held House districts and defeat the Republican governor, Scott Walker.
He also defended Hillary Clinton, the failed 2016 Democratic nominee for president who was dogged by allegations that she had mishandled classified information on a personal email server.
If Republicans cared about Mrs. Clinton’s emails, Mr. Obama said, “they’d be up in arms right now as the Chinese are listening to the president’s iPhone that he leaves in his golf cart.”
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that President Trump has continued to use his cellphone despite warnings from aides that his calls are not secure from foreign spies. (Mr. Trump dismissed the report on Thursday.)
“Throughout human history, certainly throughout American history, politicians have exaggerated,” Mr. Obama said. “But what we have not seen before in our recent public life is politicians just blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly lying. Making stuff up.”
“In Washington they have racked up enough indictments to field a football team,” he said. “Nobody in my administration got indicted. So, how is it that they cleaned things up?”
Mr. Obama also took specific issue with recent Republican advertisements about health care which claim the party will protect those with pre-existing conditions. The former president reminded the audience of thousands that Republicans have tried several times to repeal his signature health care law — which codified those protections.
“Don’t be hoodwinked,” Mr. Obama said. “Don’t be bamboozled. Wisconsin, don’t fall for that.”
The rally was held at a north-side high school in Milwaukee, and lines stretched for blocks to enter the gym on the balmy Wisconsin day.
Democrats in the state, which voted for Mr. Obama twice but flipped to Mr. Trump in the 2016 election, have said this election is a chance to wrest local leadership roles from Republican control.
Mr. Obama also had a rally with Michigan Democrats scheduled for later Friday afternoon.
Source: The New York Times