Former President Obama delivers speech at University of IL

Barack Obama gives speech today as he receives ethics award — watch live stream, live updates

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Remarking the upcoming primary season, Obama also urged students to turn out, arguing: "Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you that this moment really is different, the stakes really are higher, the consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire".

Former U.S. president Barack Obama waded back into politics with a fiery speech Friday, openly taking aim his successor's leadership style.

"In two months we have the chance to restore some semblance of sanity to our politics", he said in a speech at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign. He doesn't have a strong record of helping his party win when his own name isn't on the ballot and Democrats suffered significant losses during both Obama midterms in 2010 and 2014.

In an unusually blistering attack on his successor, Obama said Americans were living in unsafe times and accused Republicans of threatening democracy, dividing the country, undermining global alliances and cozying up to Russian Federation. "He is a symptom, not the cause". He criticized Republicans for taking credit for an economic recovery that began under his presidency, and for enabling Trump to pressure the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice to punish his political enemies.

Obama will hit the campaign trail on Saturday, appearing at a campaign event in Southern California before heading to OH next week and to IL and Pennsylvania later in the month.

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See the full speech (above) or check out some of the highlights as he talks about freedom of the press, embracing nazis, and that infamous New York Times op-ed (below)! He went on to say Mr. Trump is "just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years". "We understand that we energize the other side like very few people do, so we have to be thoughtful about where we campaign". "Saying Nazis are bad?"

During his remarks, Obama also criticized Republicans in Congress who seem "utterly unwilling" to stand up to Trump and "safeguard the institutions that make our democracies work".

The entire speech can be viewed below, live at Noon EST.

Former President Barack Obama speaks at a rally in support of Democratic candidate Phil Murphy for the governor of New Jersey, Oct. 19, 2017, in Newark, New Jersey. He's expected to hold a rally with OH gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray Thursday, and with seven Democratic House candidates in California Saturday.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama is also stepping up her political involvement ahead of the November midterm election.

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