President Barack Obama joined Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for the first time on Tuesday, addressing a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, with an impassioned speech to boost support for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“There has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton—ever,” Obama said. “And that’s the truth. The bottom line is, I know Hillary can do the job, and that’s why I am so proud, North Carolina, to endorse Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States.”
He continued lavishing praise on Clinton, focusing on her vigorous performance as his Democratic primary opponent in 2008 and her later tenure as his administration’s secretary of state to highlight her willingness to put the country’s direction above politics. Obama also took shots at Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, and painted him as an unskilled candidate focused on self-promotion.
“Everybody’s got an opinion, but nobody actually knows the job until you’re sitting behind the desk,” he said. “Everybody can tweet, but nobody actually knows what it takes to do the job until you’ve sat behind the desk. I mean, Sasha tweets but she doesn’t think she should thereby be sitting behind the desk.”
The president’s appearance in the swing state came just hours after FBI Director James Comey announced the agency would recommend no charges against Clinton in the criminal investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state. While he did not directly address the federal probe, Obama sought to use her tenure as secretary of state to emphasize her strong leadership and dedication to public service.
“Hillary continues to understand that a bunch of hard talk doesn’t replace diplomacy,” Obama said. “A bunch of baloney doesn’t keep us safe. She offers a smarter approach that uses every element of America power to protect our allies.”
He added, “She is and will be a stateswoman that makes us proud around the world.”
Shortly after the speech concluded, Clinton tweeted in gratitude:
Thanks, Obama. pic.twitter.com/qL1JqkJHpX
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 5, 2016