Obama: Nov. 6 "might be the most important election of our lifetimes"

Published: Oct. 26, 2018 at 11:27 AM CDT
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Less than two weeks from Wisconsin's closely watched midterm election, former President Barack Obama urged people in Milwaukee to vote "in what might be the most important election of our lifetimes."

"This one, it really is that important. The stakes really are that high. The consequences of anyone sitting out of the election are profound," Obama said Friday at North Division High School. The former president spoke on behalf of Wisconsin's Democratic candidates in the Nov. 6 election.

"The health care of millions is on the ballot," Obama said. "Whether the union movement survives or not is on the ballot. But maybe most of all the character of our country is on the ballot."

Obama said Baldwin's challenger, Leah Vukmir, could potentially be a deciding vote when it comes to repealaing the Affordable Care Act.

Obama also took issue for Walker campaign ads promising health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Wisconsin is part of a multi-state lawsuit that claims Obamacare is unconstitutional. The suit challenges the individual mandate and "guaranteed-issue provision"--or guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions.

"Your governor has been running one of those ads while his administration is literally suing the government to take away pre-existing conditions protections," Obama said.

Democratic governor candidate Tony Evers and Sen. Tammy Baldwin helped introduce Obama. They focused their message on health care and education.

"We're fired up and we're going to take back Wisconsin, because it's time for a change," said Evers, the state superintendent of schools.

"I'm going to fully fund our schools and treat our teachers with respect," Evers continued. "We're actually going to bring science back to the state of Wisconsin. We're going to care about the environment."

He also promised to expand Medicaid to cover more people Wisconsin.

Sen. Baldwin reminisced about the passage of the Affordable Care Act and how she grew up as a child with an uncover-able pre-existing condition.

"I think a lot about that health care bill and all the attacks our coverage are under now," Baldwin said, saying coverage of pre-existing conditions could be in jeopardy if Obamacare is repealed. Republicans have denied that they would remove coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Baldwin continued, "Health care is on the ballot. The environment is on the ballot. Equality is on the ballot. Net neutrality is on the ballot. Education is on the ballot. And you have the power."

Lt. Governor candidate Mandela Barnes, Rep. Gwen Moore and Democratic congressional candidates Randy Bryce (1st Congressional District) and Dan Kohl (6th Congressional District) also appeared at the rally.

Obama's visit comes on the day law enforcement officials

56, of Aventura, Florida, in the mailing of bombs to Obama and other prominent Democrats.

Obama did not specifically address the mail bomb campaign, but he called for more civility in politics. "We need leaders who will actually stand up for what's right regardless of party," Obama said.

"What's happened? We got to get back to that basic stuff. We can have disagreements, but there has to be a certain code, certain rules to how we treat each other in the public sphere. That's what Americans do. That's who we are."

In a lighter moment, the former president, a Chicago sports fan, gave a shout out to Milwaukee's sports teams. "There are a lot of good reasons to come to Milwaukee. You've got the Brewers. Great season. A lot better than my Sox. You've got the Bucks 4-0. Giannis is balling. You've got the Badgers. You've got brats. You've got beer," Obama said.


Obama's visit comes two days after President Donald Trump rallied for Republicans at Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee.

Both men visited friendly territory.

Milwaukee County is a Democratic stronghold that Hillary Clinton won with 62 percent of the vote in 2016.

President Trump won Marathon County with 56 percent of the vote in 2016.

Visits from current and former presidents indicate Wisconsin is considered a must-win for both parties.

President Trump visited Wisconsin several times during the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton largely ignored Wisconsin.

Trump won Wisconsin with 47.2 percent of the vote. He's the first Republican to win the state since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

On Wednesday, Trump rallied for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir. He called Walker "a warrior for Wisconsin workers and families."

"(Tammy) Baldwin voted against our tax cut and wants to restore job-killing regulations," he said, touting Vukmir. "She voted against our border wall and voted in favor of deadly sanctuary cities."

Trump said during the rally that he was holding back and "trying to be nice" as the mail bomb campaign drove calls for toning down rhetoric.

Former President Obama rallying in Wisconsin

Former President Barack Obama is campaigning for Wisconsin Democrats in Milwaukee.

Posted by WBAY TV-2 on Friday, October 26, 2018