Obama returns to campaign trail with Virginia, New Jersey events

Former President Barack Obama speaks during a canvasing event for New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy Oct. 19 2017 in Newark

Obama attended campaign rallies in New Jersey and Virginia and asked voters to send a powerful message by backing Democrats in the upcoming November 7th elections in the two states.

Obama's re-emergence comes as President Trump has taken aim at various parts of his legacy, including the Iran nuclear agreement and the Affordable Care Act and as the controversy around Trump's interactions with families of fallen USA soldiers persists.

"Politics are infecting our communities", he said getting the crowd fired up, while taking an obvious dig at US President Donald Trump. "He wants to reach out for hope, not fear", Obama said in a speech that lasted a little over half an hour in an exhibition hall at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Without even mentioning President Trump by name, Mr. Obama said New Jersey voters can send a clear message that "we are rejecting the politics of division, we are rejecting a politics of fear, that we are embracing a politics that says everybody counts, a politics that says everybody deserves a chance, a politics that says everybody has dignity and worth, a politics of hope - that is what you are fighting for!"

"You know Michelle and I get the same commercials in D.C. that y'all do here", Obama said.

A Christopher Newport University poll found the race was practically a dead heat, and Monmouth University poll gave Gillespie a one point lead.

"No matter who comes in to campaign for Phil Murphy, no matter whether they're rock stars or political stars, it's not going to change the fact that Phil Murphy is completely out of touch with the people he wants to represent", she said. "You won't be able to unite them later if that's how you start".

"The world counts on American having its act together", Mr. Obama said.

Mr Obama said: "Some of the politics we see now we thought we put that to bed".

Obama will be in Virginia Thursday evening to stump for Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate for Governor in Virginia.

"It's in no one's interest - including the former president's, the Democratic Party's, or the country's - for President Obama to become the face of any resistance or the party", a senior adviser to the former president wrote in a statement to ABC News, "Instead, he is creating the space for leaders in the party to craft the best path forward that will make our country better". The former president said the ad, which unfairly accuses Northam of enabling the predominantly Latino gang and its violent actions, "sounds like a fib".

"I don't think anybody really thinks that somebody who spent his life performing surgery on soldiers and children suddenly is cozying up to street gangs", said Obama, referring to Northam's career as a U.S. Army doctor and pediatric neurologist.

GOP groups said Ms. McCaskill is trying to run away from her record, which they said showed she backed Mr. Obama's stance 93 percent of the time in Senate votes. "That's folks looking 50 years back", Obama said.

"Think about that", Obama said.

Mr. Ferguson, though, said that the first year of the Trump administration has enhanced Mr. Obama's legacy, making him a more powerful surrogate who can energize Democratic voters.

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