During a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Friday, Obama said the country is in a “backlash” moment.
While Obama has in the past blasted Trump and his policies, this was the first speech in which he used his successor’s name.
Obama also addressed Trump’s tone-deaf comments last year, when the president claimed that there were “some very fine people on both sides” during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that saw white supremacists squaring off against anti-racism protesters. Paralegal Heather Heyer, 32, was killed during the protest when a white supremacist struck her with his car.
The former president also applauded the women who have taken a stand in the Me Too movement, and the teens of Parkland, Florida, who are standing up to gun violence and the National Rifle Association. That’s how real change starts, Obama said. But nothing will get done if this generation doesn’t vote, he added.