President Barack Obama painted an optimistic picture of America’s future in a speech on Wednesday aimed at giving full-hearted support to Hillary Clinton to help her defeat Republican rival Donald Trump and become the first woman elected US president.
Speaking to the Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia, Obama offered an alternative to businessman Trump’s vision of the United States as being under siege from illegal immigrants and terrorism and losing its way in the world.
The Democratic president laid out what he said were a series of advances during his two terms in office, such as recovery from economic recession, the Obamacare healthcare reform and the 2011 killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in front of the cheering delegates at the Wells Fargo Center.
Clinton made history on Tuesday when she became the first woman to secure the presidential nomination from a major party. When she formally accepts it on Thursday, she will become the Democratic standard-bearer against Republican nominee Trump in the Nov. 8 election.
At the convention on Wednesday, US Senator Tim Kaine accepted the Democratic vice presidential nomination.
Obama and Clinton were rivals in the hard-fought campaign for the 2008 Democratic nomination. After winning that election, he appointed her his secretary of state.
WATCH VIDEO: Barack Obama Urges Americans To Carry Hillary Clinton Like They Carried Him
Democrats have buttressed Clinton with a star gathering of current and past party notables at this week’s convention. By contrast, many prominent Republicans were absent from the party convention that nominated Trump for the White House last week.
But Trump got a boost in opinion polls from his convention. He had a 2-point lead over Clinton in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday, the first time he has been ahead since early May.
Excerpts from Barack Obama’s speech, as it happened (all times IST):
9:13 am: Thank you for this incredible journey, let’s keep it going.
9:11 am: Tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary what you did for me. I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me.
9:05 am: We don’t fear the future, we face it, we embrace it.
9:02 am: Democracy isn’t a spectator sport. America isn’t about ‘yes he will.’ It’s about ‘yes we can.
8:55 am: Hillary knows we can work through racial divides in this country.
She knows that acknowledging problems that have festered for decades isn’t making race relations worse – it’s creating the possibility for people of good will to join and make things better.
The American Dream is something no wall will ever contain.
When we change enough minds; when we deliver enough votes, then progress does happen.
8:49 am: Ronald Reagan called America “a shining city on a hill.” Donald Trump calls it “a divided crime scene” that only he can fix.
He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election. That is another bet that Donald Trump will lose.
Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago.
America has never been about what one person says he’ll do for us. It’s always been about what can be achieved by us, together.
8:48 am: Apparently, (Donald Trump) doesn’t know the men and women who make up the strongest fighting force the world has ever known. He suggests America is weak.
America’s promises do not come with a price tag. We meet our commitments. And that’s one reason why almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago.
America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump.
8:47 am: If you’re concerned about who’s going to keep you and your family safe in a dangerous world – well, the choice is even clearer.
Hillary won’t relent until ISIL is destroyed. She’ll finish the job – and she’ll do it without resorting to torture, or banning entire religions from entering our country. She is fit to be the next Commander-in-Chief.
8:45 am: Hillary has real plans to address the concerns she’s heard from you on the campaign trail… And then there’s Donald Trump. He’s not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either.
8:43 am: Tim Kaine will be a great Vice President, and he’ll make Hillary a better President. Just like my dear friend and brother Joe Biden has made me a better President.
8:42 am: I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.
8:36 am: I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together.
There is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, and has devoted her life to it.
8:34 am: What we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican – and it sure wasn’t conservative…There were no serious solutions to pressing problems – just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.
8:33 am: This (election) is a fundamental choice – about who we are as a people, and whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self-government.
8:32 am: By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started.
I’ve insisted that change is never easy, and never quick; that we wouldn’t meet all of our challenges in one term, or one presidency, or even in one lifetime.
8:30 am: I stand before you again tonight, after almost two terms as your President, to tell you I am even more optimistic about the future of America.