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President Barack Obama Praises Hillary Clinton, Stresses the Importance of Voting in DNC Speech: 'Democracy Isn't a Spectator Sport'

by Zach Seemayer and Meredith Kile 10:10 PM PDT, July 27, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

President Barack Obama addressed a cheering crowd at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, where he praised Hillary Clinton, slammed Donald Trump and espoused the importance of party unity.

"It's fair to say this is not your typical election," Obama told the chanting crowd, before explaining why Clinton was the best hope for defeating Trump during the upcoming election.

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"No matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits," he shared. "That is the Hillary I know. That's the Hillary I've come to admire and that's why I can say with confidence: there has never been a man or woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America."

Reflecting on his time as her political rival during the 2008 primary run, Obama admitted that Clinton wore him down and sparred like a pro, recalling, "She was doing everything I was doing, but just like Ginger Rogers, it was backwards and in heels."

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Aside from praising the Democratic nominee, Obama shared his candid thoughts on the 70-year-old business magnate headlining the Republican ticket, taking aim at his campaign slogan --"Make America Great Again."

"America is already great, America is already strong. He’s not offering any real solutions to those problems, he’s just offering slogans and he’s offering fear," the 54-year-old commander-in-chief said. "I promise you our greatness does not depend on Donald Trump."

After taking some powerful swipes at the GOP hopeful, Obama continued to stump for Clinton, sharing, "She's been there for us, even if we haven't always noticed. And if you’re serious about our democracy, you can't afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You've got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn't a spectator sport."

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During his speech, Obama also paid serious compliments to Clinton's primary rival, Bernie Sanders, and the Vermont senator's outspoken, dedicated supporters.

"We all need to be as vocal and as organized and persistent,” Obama said, praising Sander's unprecedented grassroots campaign.

The president also thanked the American people for their support during his time in office, saying, "For all the places where I’ve fallen short, I've told Hillary and I’ll tell you, what’s picked me up every single time. It’s been you. The American people."

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Making his final bid of the night for the former first lady, the president told the crowd, "I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me."

Obama said he was ready to "pass the baton," and asked his supporters to "elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States and show the world that we still believe in the promise of this great nation."

After his powerful address, Obama waved goodbye as Stevie Wonder’s "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" started to play in the convention hall. He then welcomed Clinton on-stage as the arena broke out in a deafening roar of applause and cheers from the audience.

Photo: Getty Images

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Obama's oration was one of the most impassioned speeches of the DNC since his wife, Michelle Obama, spoke during the convention’s opening night on Monday, where she reflected on her family's time in the White House, and how it's shown her the most important values to look for when electing a new president. Check out the video below to see her moving address.

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