The former president also will attend a Southern California event for seven Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives in Republican-controlled districts that supported Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Trump two years ago.
Obama, kicking off weeks of voter turnout efforts, argued that his aim was not to get into a presidential spitting match but to convince voters across the ideological spectrum that the conditions that gave rise to Trump's election were a pressing threat and must be battled directly with increased citizen participation in politics.
Mr. Obama took aim at the president in a speech at the University of IL, telling students that this is the most important election of his lifetime and urging them to vote against the powerful and privileged that are trying to divide Americans and make them cynical of the government in order protect the status quo.
Earlier, Obama came out in open against his successor Donald Trump, blasting his policies and reminding voters that the economic recovery began on his watch and not in this regime, saying "he is a symptom and not the cause". "He is just capitalising on resentment that politicians have been fanning for years".
"Obama was trying to take credit for this incredible thing that's happening", he continued. CNN reported Trump was closely monitoring the denials, according to a top White House official. "And if you thought elections don't matter, I hope these last two years have corrected the impression". Obama turned his visit into a "State of Our Democracy" review, and we are not getting an A-plus, you guys.
Obama, reacting to the op-ed account, said, "That's not how our democracy is supposed to work".
"Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you this moment really is different", Obama said.
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"He's the only one who can compete with Donald Trump". He said the biggest threat to democracy isn't Trump but "indifference".
"What happened to the Republican Party?"
"We are supposed to stand up to discrimination and we are sure as heck to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers", he said.
And in accepting Trump, Obama said, Republicans have abandoned many of their long-held guiding principles, like forgoing lower deficits in favor of tax cuts and maintaining a hard line with Russian Federation. "It's radical. It's a vision that says the protection of our power and those who back us is all that matters, even when it hurts the country", Obama said.
On Saturday, the former president will stump for House Democratic candidates at an event in Orange County, a conservative-leaning part of California where Republicans are at risk of losing several congressional seats. "The more President @BarackObama speaks about the "good ole years" of his presidency, the more likely President @realDonaldTrump is to get re-elected, " Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of SC, tweeted.
Trump told supporters in Montana on Thursday that Republicans needed to maintain control of Congress to stave off possible impeachment proceedings against him, although Democrats have played down any discussion of that approach.
"If it (impeachment) does happen, it's your fault, because you didn't go out to vote. OK?"
Obama's speech was a preview of the arguments he will make on the campaign trail - partly in an attempt to reach out to voters in parts of the country he won in 2012, but which voted for Trump in 2016.