Obama blasts Trump for cosying up to America’s adversaries

Former president says Mr Trump is 'jealous of Covid-19 media coverage'

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Former US president Barack Obama hit out at Donald Trump's record on foreign policy, coronavirus and racial equality during a campaign visit to Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday.

Adjusting to the effects of Covid-19, Mr Obama hosted a drive-in rally, with people confined to their cars, and urged residents in the swing state to vote for Democrat Joe Biden.

In the lead-up to the election, Mr Obama has increasingly departed from his usually restrained tone to criticise his successor’s record.

"A president shouldn't make things worse," he said.

Mr Obama criticised the president for walking out on an interview with 60 Minutes journalist Leslie Stahl.

"Our current president, he whines that 60 Minutes is too tough," he said. "You think he's going to stand up to dictators? He thinks Leslie Stahl's a bully."

Mr Obama admonished the Trump administration for cosying up to America’s adversaries.

"He said that Putin of Russia, Xi of China and Kim Jong-un of North Korea want him to win. We know.

"We know because you've been giving them whatever they want for the last four years.

"Of course they want you to win. That's not a good thing. You shouldn't brag."

Mr Obama said Mr Trump showed “incompetence and disinterest” in managing the worsening coronavirus outbreak.

The US has been reporting record-high Covid-19 infections this week, with an average of 71,000 daily new infections.

Mr Obama expressed alarm over the second Covid-19 outbreak in the White House, with aides to Vice President Mike Pence being infected with the virus.

He accused the Republican leadership of turning the White House into a “hot zone”.

Mr Trump, he said, was “jealous of Covid’s media coverage”.

"Tweeting at the TV doesn't fix things," Mr Obama said. "Watching TV all day doesn't fix things. Making stuff up doesn't fix things.

"You've got to have a plan if you want to make people's lives better."

He also reacted to controversial remarks made on Monday by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner about the African-American community.

"His son-in-law says black folks have to want to be successful," Mr Obama said. "That's the problem.

"Who are these folks? What history books do they read? Who do they talk to?"

ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 27: Joe Biden for President supporters looks on from the their vehicles while former President Barack Obama campaigns for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Camping World Stadium on October 27, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. Obama is campaigning for his former Vice President, and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden before the Nov. 3rd election.   Octavio Jones/Getty Images/AFP
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Joe Biden supporters look on from their vehicles while former President Barack Obama campaigns in Orlando, Florida. Getty Images / AFP

In neighbouring Georgia, Mr Biden looked to win over voters in a state that has not backed a Democrat for president since 1992.

Mr Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, announced she had again tested negative for Covid-19 as she headed for the historically Republican states of Arizona and Texas.

The Biden campaign is using its final days trying to sway voters in typically “red” states by reaching out to young, non-white and anti-Trump suburban voters.

Elsewhere, Melania Trump hosted her first solo campaign event in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. She was joined by former Trump counsellor Kellyanne Conway for the indoor rally in Atglen.

Both women have recently recovered from Covid-19 infection. Ms Trump said she was “feeling so much better thanks to healthy living” and “therapeutic treatments”.

The first lady delivered a rigid speech as she read off a teleprompter.

Throughout the campaign she has often delivered a more balanced tone in contrast to Mr Trump’s controversial remarks.

The president has packed his campaign schedule in the final week before the election, sometimes visiting two states in one day.

Donald Trump predicts electoral victory at Pennsylvania rally

Donald Trump predicts electoral victory at Pennsylvania rally

Mr Trump is focusing his efforts on swing states, with a trip to Michigan’s capital Lansing on Monday followed by a trip to Wisconsin.

Before leaving the White House, he called the voting system into question.

"It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on November 3 instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate and I don't believe that's by our laws," Mr Trump said.

He has repeatedly suggested that an increase in mail voting will lead to election fraud, although experts say it is secure and safe.