On Thursday, former president Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail for Phil Murphy, the Democratic candidate for governor in New Jersey. While he was on the trail, Obama also issued a condemnation of the current state of politics.
“Some of the politics we see now, we thought we’d put that to bed. I mean, that’s folks looking 50 years back. It’s the 21st century, not the 19th century,” Obama said during a rally.
“We are rejecting a politics of division. We are rejecting a politics of fear,” he continued. “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.”
The former president went on to stress the important of the United States as a world leader, including as a moral standard to the world.
“The world counts on America having its act together. The world is looking to us as an example,” Obama told the crowd. “The world asks what our values and ideals are, and are we living up to our creed.”
Obama also stopped at a rally in Virginia for Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, who is running to succeed Democrat Terry McAuliffe as governor, and expressed similar sentiments there.
“We’re at our best not when we’re trying to put people down, but when we’re trying to lift everybody up,” he said. “Folks don’t feel good right now about what they see. They don’t feel as if our public life reflects our best. Instead of politics reflecting our values, we have politics infecting our communities.”
This is the first time Obama has returned to campaigning in politics since the 2016 election and his departure from the White House.