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Obama blasts GOP: They ‘put up with crazy’

The Hill logo The Hill 9/14/2018 Alicia Cohn
Barack Obama wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill

Former President Obama on Thursday slammed the Republican party for tolerating "crazy" behavior from its leaders.

"What you're seeing is Republicans in Congress who are bending over backwards to try to shield and deflect oversight of this behavior and accountability and consequences," he said, speaking at a rally in Ohio for gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray. "This is serious. You know it is. And frankly even some of the Republicans know it is. They will say it, they just don't do anything about it. ... [They say,] 'we'll put up with crazy'" in exchange for tax reform and deregulation.

Obama called for a return to "checks and balances" in the upcoming election, calling it a chance to "restore some sanity" to politics. Although he avoided mentioning President Trump by name, throughout the speech he blasted the Republican party's leadership.

"This is not normal what we're seeing. It is radical," he said. "It is a vision that says that it's more important for those who are in power to protect that power even when it hurts the country."

He referred to "political darkness" that has descended on politics and blasted "demagogues," commenting that good leaders get the job done rather than tweeting to take credit for it.

"When we don't vote, when we take our voice for granted, demagogues get out there and they promise simple fixes," he said. "They'll try to pretend like they have answers even when they don't know the problem. ... We don't need leaders yakking and yakking everyday instead of doing the work."

Obama is hitting the campaign trail ahead of the midterms, coming out fighting with direct criticism of Trump for the first time since he left the office.

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