On Wednesday, former President Barack Obama went to Phoenix to support Democrats running for some of the state’s highest offices. His visit happened less than a week before the election when polls showed that many races were still close.
At the event, which was held at Cesar Chavez High School in southwest Phoenix, there were a lot of elected Democrats and Democratic candidates.
9:15 P.m: Obama Wraps Up Speech At Phoenix Rally
Obama ended his about 55-minute speech in the packed high school gym at 9 p.m. with a simple message: “Better is worth fighting for.”
The speech took shots at Republicans who believe Trump’s election lies. Still, it also got people excited about voting for Democratic candidates on Nov. 8. Obama’s message and the messages of the candidates who spoke before him emphasized how important it was to vote and keep abortion rights. As the crowd started to thin out, U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly and Democratic candidate for governor Katie Hobbs joined Obama on stage.
Obama Goes After Lake Masters
Former President Barack Obama sought to paint gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and U.S. Senate hopeful, Blake Masters as dangerous and unqualified to lead Arizona. He said that Lake was running for office to help Donald Trump, not the people of Arizona.
“If Kari Lake is your governor, we know what she’ll do because Donald Trump told us,” he said, referring to a report that Trump liked how often Lake said the 2020 election was rigged.
Obama made it seem like Republicans don’t tell the truth and spread lies that are bad for democracy. He said, “Arizona, I’d like to talk to the people who aren’t in this auditorium.” “Why would you vote for someone you know is lying about something?
He made fun of Lake’s job as a TV anchor by saying, “I don’t care how nicely they say it, how poised they are, or how well-lit they are.” Obama also mentioned longtime Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who used to be an enemy but is now a friend, for a short time in his speech.
“Your own John McCain graciously gave up,” he said, referring to the 2008 election that put Obama in the White House instead of McCain. “He told me good luck,” Obama said that Republicans could use this election to attack decency, democratic norms, and the truth. He said that democracy was up for a vote.
Obama said, “I believe in a peaceful change of power.”
8:25 P.m: “You Can’t Just Tune Out”
When a heckler stopped Obama in the middle of his speech at the rally, he changed his message to bring civility back to politics and go above and beyond the divisive language that social media amplifies.
He said people who say that groups of other people are to blame for “your problems” are wrong.
He was talking about the violent attack on the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco when he said that the language was dangerous and should be called out. He told the crowd not to let these constant messages get in the way. He admitted that it was tempting to tune out and watch “The Great British Baking Show,” which made people laugh.
“Phoenix “I’m here to tell you that you can’t just stop listening,” he said.
8:05 P.m.: Obama Addresses Crowd
At 8:05 p.m., former President Barack Obama went on stage to speak to a loud crowd of about 1,000 supporters.
Obama came to Arizona as part of a tour of “swing states.” He was trying to help Democratic candidates win on Nov. 8. U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Arizona, introduced Obama and talked about his work to expand health care coverage and protect “Dreamers,” or young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Obama said in the first few minutes of his speech, “There have been rumors about the Phoenix Suns and me.” He did this to tease rumors that he might buy the team. He also said, “The Suns look pretty good.”
7:45 P.m: A Republican Tells Voters To “Put Country And State Over Party”
Giles said that Republicans and independents should “vote for the best candidates, period.” He meant that they should vote for people who have “workable solutions” instead of people who threaten democracy and make people afraid and angry.
Giles showed the differences between Mark Kelly and Blake Masters, Katie Hobbs and Kari Lake, and other candidates to show why he’s voting for the Democrats. He said that Kelly is a great senator for his city and the state. And he said that if Lake were elected, she would spend more time at Mar-a-Lago than at Mesa.
Giles also asked the crowd to vote “yes” on Prop. Three hundred eight so that all Arizona high school graduates could get in-state tuition, no matter their immigration status. He talked about the election as a chance to save the country, Arizona, and he urged everyone, no matter what party they were in, not to vote for people who were bad for democracy and to vote for people with good ideas.
6:40 P.m: Trump Calls Into To Arizona
On Wednesday night, former president Donald Trump joined a phone rally with GOP candidates Blake Masters for the U.S. Senate and Kari Lake for governor.
Trump gave Masters and Lake a lot of praise as the candidates who could stop Biden’s plans and get tough at the border. As he often does at his rallies, Trump said that life would be better under his rule than now.
Trump said that Lake would fight hard against the mistakes and betrayals of the Biden administration. Masters would “take on radical left Marxists,” which Trump said is precisely what we have now.
Lake and Masters both said that Trump was a good leader. Lake told the former president, “We’re just so grateful for everything you did for this country, and I can’t wait to get you back in the White House.”
6:35 P.m: Giffords To Introduce Kelly
Gabby Giffords, who used to be a representative, is expected to speak before her husband, U.S. Senator Mark Kelly, and former President Obama.
Giffords was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006 and reelected in 2008 and 2010. At the start of her third term, she held an event outside near Tucson where 19 people were shot. She was one of them. She got a brain injury from a car accident and now fights for gun control laws.
Noon: Republicans Focus On Biden
“Barack Obama has never won in Arizona, and the fact that he is here shows that Joe Biden has poisoned Mark Kelly and Katie Hobbs,” Republican National Committee spokesman Ben Petersen said in a statement released Wednesday morning. “This election is a vote on how bad of a job Biden did with skyrocketing prices, open borders, and violent crime.”
The statement is part of a national Republican plan to link Democratic candidates to Vice President Joe Biden, whose popularity has dropped as inflation and the economy have hurt many Americans.
The RNC said that incumbent U.S. Sen. Kelly, Secretary of State, and Democratic nominee for governor Hobbs “haven’t done anything to stand up to Biden.” Both of these candidates are in close races.
I’m in Arizona today to support Democratic candidates who will fight for you. Tune in now. https://t.co/Nh4O0bAHH8
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 3, 2022
Blake Masters, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, posted a video to Twitter on Wednesday morning that hit a similar note. Masters said that Kelly and Hobbs are “stumbling” and “dragging Barack Obama out of retirement to come rally in Phoenix” to take attention away from Biden’s absence.
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- 1 9:15 P.m: Obama Wraps Up Speech At Phoenix Rally
- 2 Obama Goes After Lake Masters
- 3 8:25 P.m: “You Can’t Just Tune Out”
- 4 8:05 P.m.: Obama Addresses Crowd
- 5 7:45 P.m: A Republican Tells Voters To “Put Country And State Over Party”
- 6 6:40 P.m: Trump Calls Into To Arizona
- 7 6:35 P.m: Giffords To Introduce Kelly
- 8 Noon: Republicans Focus On Biden