Former President Barack Obama slammed Republicans as “systematically” trying to prevent Americans from voting in a campaign speech for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. 

“All across the country, Democrats are trying to make it easier to vote, not make it harder to vote, and push back on Republicans who are trying to systematically prevent ordinary citizens from making their voices heard,” Obama said Saturday in Richmond

“You have to ask yourself, why is it Republicans don’t want you to vote?” he asked. 

McAuliffe and Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin are in a dead-even fight for the governorship, just more than a week before Election Day. Both received 46% among likely voters, according to the latest Monmouth University survey

Younkin’s campaign fired back at Obama’s claims that Republicans work to prevent people from voting, calling them “false statements,” in a comment to Fox News on Sunday morning. 

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Obama to Virginia voters: Don’t pay attention to ‘Trumped Up Culture Wars’

“We don’t have time to be wasting on these phony, trumped up culture wars, this fake outrage that right-wing media pedals to juice their ratings,” Obama claimed. “And the fact that he’s willing to go along with it, instead of talking about serious problems that actually affect serious people, that’s a shame.”

“That’s not what this election is about. That’s not what you need, Virginia,” he continued. “Instead of forcing our communities to cut back at a time when we’re just starting to recover, we should be doing more to support people who are educating our kids, and keeping our neighborhoods safe.”


What was the response?

Obama’s comments generated a sharp rebuke.

Critics pointed out that children’s education is not part of the “trumped up culture war” as Obama claimed, especially considering that McAuliffe has said parents shouldn’t have a say in school board decisions.

As many others pointed out, Loudoun County Schools are also accused of “covering up” two sexual assaults as they pushed for controversial LGBT policies.

  • “Sorry, but McAuliffe saying that parents shouldn’t be in charge of their children’s education and the Loudoun County school board lying to parents about sexual assaults in bathrooms isn’t ‘trumped up cultural wars,'” Ben Shapiro said.
  • “Let’s be clear: THEY are waging the culture war. WE are fighting back. Covering up a sexual assault in school restrooms to push a transgender policy in gov’t schools is the definition of waging a culture war,” radio host Larry O’Connor said.
  • “Barack Obama is telling parents they have fake outrage over school boards covering up sexual assaults and teaching critical race theory,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) reacted.
  • “The ‘right-wing media’ tricked Terry McAuliffe into telling parents they should influence school boards. @GlennYoungkin is surging because he’s got answers for Virginia’s public education’s failures,” radio host Hugh Hewitt pointed out.
  • “Two girls were sexually assaulted on school property, and school admin officials publicly lied about their knowledge of it to parents,” reporter Susan Crabtree pointed out.
  • “My child’s education is not a trumped-up culture war,” Michael Needham, chief of staff to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), fired back.
  • “Here in WA: I was fired for refusing an experimental vaccine, I saw the COVID pts. Vax passes start Monday in Seattle. An elementary school has a gender unicorn on the wall. A high school handed out a sexual survey asking when kids first had anal. But sure, it’s Trumped up anger,” another person said.
  • “Gaslighting at its finest,” one person observed.
  • “Zero self-awareness. Zero accountability,” another person said.
  • “Schools cover up sexual assault. That’s not trumped up. That’s not culture war. That’s a dereliction of public duty. The failure to address it is a failure of leadership. Saying otherwise is a deflection,” another person said.

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Obama says New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate won’t be a ‘champion of democracy’

Former President Barack Obama, stumping in Newark, New Jersey Saturday, took aim at Republican gubernatorial challenger Jack Ciattarelli, saying his participation in a rally to overturn the 2020 election shows “he’s not going to be a champion of democracy.”

Obama was making his second campaign stop of the day, this one in support of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s reelection campaign.

“Apparently Phil’s opponent says he didn’t know it was a rally to overturn the results of the last election,” Obama said, “He didn’t know it? Come on. When you’re standing in front of a sign that says ‘Stop the Steal’ and there’s a guy in the crowd waving a confederate flag, you know this isn’t a neighborhood barbecue. You know it’s not a league of women voters rally. Come on. Come on, man. That’s not what New Jersey needs.”

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Obama sharply criticizes Youngkin in Va. governor’s race

Former President Barack Obama offered a sharp rebuke of the Republican candidate for Virginia governor, Glenn Youngkin, as he encouraged voters on Saturday to support Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the closely watched race.

Obama accused Youngkin of portraying himself as a friendly everyman while encouraging what Obama called “lies and conspiracy theories” about widespread voting fraud in the 2020 elections. Former President Donald Trump has continued to push the false narrative about election fraud, which fueled the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“Either he actually believes in the same conspiracy theories that resulted in a mob, or he doesn’t believe it but he is willing to go along with it, to say or do anything to get elected. And maybe that’s worse … because that says something about character,” Obama said.

Youngkin, a former private equity executive and a first-time candidate, initially made “election integrity” the centerpiece of his campaign and refused for months to say whether President Joe Biden was legitimately elected. He has since said that Biden was, and that there was not widespread fraud in last year’s elections.

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