WASHINGTON – Former President Barack Obama warned Democrats against being “complacent or smug” about the presidential race at a grassroots fundraiser Tuesday for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, calling on viewers to learn the lessons from 2016 and not take the election for granted.
Referencing what he called a “great awakening” going on among younger Americans pushing for reforms, Obama said that “just because this energy is out there does not mean that it assures our victory and it does not mean that it gets channeled in a way that results in real change.”
“There’s a backlash, that is fierce, against change,” Obama added.
The former president referenced the division among Americans that he said President Donald Trump “exploits,” as well as new challenges to voting rights in recent years.
“We can’t be complacent or smug or suggest that somehow it's so obvious that this president hasn’t done a good job because, look, he won once, and it’s not like we didn't have a good clue as to how he was going to operate the last time,” Obama said.
He implored the audience to get engaged with Biden's presidential campaign, declaring that “whatever you've done so far is not enough.”
The fundraiser marked Obama’s official return to the presidential campaign trail and underscored his unmatched popularity within the Democratic Party. Biden, who appeared virtually alongside Obama at the event, said it raised a record-breaking $7.6 million from more than 175,000 individual donors.
Trump’s Dallas fundraiser earlier this month raised north of $10 million for the campaign, Republican National Committee and the Trump Victory Fund.