Barack Obama says any black person voting for Trump would be a ‘personal insult’ in extraordinary speech

‘I will consider it a personal insult – an insult to my legacy – if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,’ says Mr Obama

May Bulman
Sunday 18 September 2016 11:21 BST
Obama says it's an insult if black people don't vote

Barack Obama has said it would be a “personal insult” if black voters don’t turn out to support Hillary Clinton in the US presidential elections.

During an impassioned speech to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, an organisation that carries out research on issues affecting African-Americans, Mr Obama said it would be an “insult to his legacy” if the black community voted for Donald Trump – or refrained from voting at all – in the upcoming election.

Addressing the foundation for the last time as president, Mr Obama said: “If I hear anybody saying their vote does not matter, that it doesn’t matter who we elect – read up on your history.

“It matters. We’ve got to get people to vote. I will consider it a personal insult – an insult to my legacy – if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election.

“You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote.”

Mr Obama’s ardent speech came less than two months before election day and marked his most forceful plea to the black community to get behind Ms Clinton in the presidential race.

During the speech the President also joked about Donald Trump’s admission about his birth certificate. He said: “Isil [Isis], North Korea, poverty, climate change – none of those things weighed on my mind like the validity of my birth certificate.”

In one of his harshest critiques of Mr Trump yet, Mr Obama referred to the Republican presidential candidate as “somebody who has fought against civil rights and fought against equality and who has shown no regard for working people most of his life”.

Democratic presidential candidate Ms Clinton also delivered a speech at the dinner and made a pitch for African-American support, during which she said the outgoing President was one of the best American leaders in history.

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