In Seattle, Obama previews campaign stump speech: No time for ‘charlatans’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SEATTLE -- Delayed from hitting the presidential campaign trail, President Barack Obama previewed his 2016 stump speech Friday for an incumbent governor instead, using a fundraiser here to hit Republicans for dividing the country and lambasting "charlatans" who seek personal gain from exploiting fears.

Declaring GOP rhetoric a detriment to progress, Obama even borrowed Hillary Clinton's campaign slogan of "stronger together" to argue for unity in the country.

Without specifically naming Donald Trump, Obama said, "We don't have time for charlatans and we don't have time for bigotry and we didn't have time for film-flam and we don't have the luxury of just popping off and saying whatever comes to the tops of our heads."

Obama was speaking in downtown Seattle before 3,000 at a fundraiser for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who is seeking his second term.

Obama's speech covered a wide range of topics.  He talked about Obamacare, the minimum wage, climate change, and other hot issues. He also defended his record on the economy and praised Inslee for the same here in Washington state.

Obama had likely hoped to use his barbed language about Trump -- who he avoids naming, but whose policies and style Obama has plainly slammed -- during a campaign stop for Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Obama and Clinton were scheduled to campaign together in Wisconsin a week and a half ago, the debut of what Democrats hope will be a power-team against Trump ahead of the November election. But the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.,  delayed the event, and no replacement date has yet been named.

Obama instead used Friday's event to test-drive barbs against Republicans, including suggesting the party is exploiting the economic fears of white, middle-class Americans for political gain.

"Unfortunately when people are anxious and scared, there are going to be politicians out there who try to prey on that frustration to get themselves headlines and get themselves votes. And that's what the Republicans have been doing for a while now," Obama said.

He worked to characterize the entire party as in lock-step with Trump, even as the party's embrace of their presumptive nominee remains somewhat loose.

"It's the story they've been telling, not just the guy at the top of the ticket, but up and down the ticket," Obama said.

"Between dividing ourselves up, looking for scapegoats, ignoring the evidence, or not realizing that we are all stronger together -- if we turn against each other, whether it's divisions of race or religion, we're not going to build on the progress we've started," Obama said.

He continued: "If we get cynical and just vote our fears, or just don't vote at all, we're not going to build on the progress we've started."

Obama was to spend the night in Seattle and fly out early Saturday morning.