President Obama’s Speech At The University Of Illinois

September 07, 2018
 
Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama's official photograph in the Oval Office on 6 December 2012.

Pete Souza/Public Domain

On this special edition of The 21st: President Obama has been on the political sidelines since he left office. But no more. In an hourlong speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the former president rebuked President Trump, calling him "a symptom, not a cause" of today's political climate. He also encouraged the nearly 1,100 students in attendance to vote in this fall's midterm elections, saying "our democracy depends on it."

In a speech broadcast on all the major cable networks, the former president told us what he really thinks about what is going on in the United States.

He didn't mince words: He said there was "crazy stuff" coming out of the White House, and criticized Congress for not providing proper checks and balances. But in classic Obama style, he still laid out a case - tempered by the past two years - of how the country could still come together and find common ground.

Listen to our special coverage of the former president's speech, featuring voices from students and journalists, or watch the speech here: