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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former President Barack Obama took to the podium to campaign for Democratic candidates in Miami on Friday afternoon.
He was in town stumping for Democratic candidates running in Tuesday’s midterm election, including U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.
“The real reason I came down to Miami is because this Tuesday might be the most important election of our lifetimes. Politicians will always say that. But this time it’s actually true. The stakes really are that high. The consequences of any other staying home really are more dangerous,” Obama said.
Obama has told a crowd of about 3,000 attendees that democracy can’t work when words stop having meaning.
“In our own lives, in our marriages and our families, if consistently the people we’re dealing with can’t believe what we say. If our children see that it doesn’t matter that you actually accomplish things all you do is just make stuff up whenever it’s expedient – society doesn’t work. Democracy does not work. And that’s what’s happening – at the highest levels and the only check on that behavior is you,” Obama said.
Obama urged voters not to become bamboozled by misinformation while Republicans allow polluters to poison the environment, give tax cuts to billionaires and take health care away from millions.
“Remember Peanuts right? Maybe some of you too young — Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football. She’d say I a holding it, you can kick it and Charlie Brown say OK. And then she pull the ball away and he’d fall on his back. But he kept on doing it every time. Don’t be Charlie Brown – don’t fall for the okey doke. Don’t be bamboozled. Don’t be hoodwinked because when you get distracted — while you’re distracted with all this stuff they’re making up, they’re also robbing you blind,” Obama said.
Obama also talked about the economy, crediting Democrats for turning it around after the economic crash. He also took on President Trump’s recent plan to end birthright citizenship by executive order.
“A president on his own does not get to decide on his own who’s an American citizen. That’s not how the constitution of the United States works,” said Obama.
He told supporters that Republicans will not stop trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and warned they would take away health care protections.
“Suddenly, at election time, Republicans are saying they’re going to protect pre-existing conditions when they’ve literally been doing the opposite”
“That’s some kind of chutzpah! Let’s call it what it is, its a lie.”
He drew some of the loudest cheers, when he asked the crowd, “You all ready to flip Florida blue?”
The former president was interrupted several times by hecklers, but supporters drowned them out with loud chants.
A heckler screamed out, “Bring it home, bring it home.”
“Why is it that the folks who won the last election are so mad all the time,” Obama reacted.
The event took place at Ice Palace Films Studios in Miami.
Outside of the studios Friday morning, a line of people stretched well over block as they waited to see the former president.
“I’m here to support the environment, women’s rights, gun control and I believe that Andrew Gillum is the future and I’m hoping he actually has aspirations to follow Obama in 2020,” said Rhian Purdy.
In the past two election cycles, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate has lost by a razor margin. Gillum supporters think this time will be different.
“I think Gillum has had a way to energize people who felt my vote doesn’t matter, other politicians aren’t like me. He has that down-home kind of feel that they can see themselves in him and with that I think is it’s going to encourage people to come out and vote. If he can be governor and stand up for Florida why can’t I go out and cast my vote,” said Katonya Bienamie.
Gillum has kept up a feverish campaign schedule in South Florida. On Thursday, he made eight stops from Key West to Miami Gardens.
In Homestead at Miami-Dade College, he urged students to vote, noting young people are not voting in expected numbers.
He said that needs to change quickly.
“Right now they’re telling me that young people are not going to turn out and vote, that the going wisdom is that we are moment people, not movement people,” Gillum told the crowd. “But I believe that we collectively are about to send a different message to them in a few short days.
Friday, he started his day in Pembroke Pines, making his final push to voters.
“We should not have a governor who stands in the way of, getting in the way of, getting people access to badly needed health care all because they have an issue with who the governor and the president is. That is unacceptable,” he told a group of supporters.
After his rally with Obama in Miami, Gillum’s “Bring it Home” bus tour heads to Palm Beach.
If you haven’t voted yet, you can still take part in early voting through Sunday, November 4 in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Monroe County ends on November 3.
There are 28 early voting locations in Miami-Dade, 22 in Broward, and 5 in Monroe.
It doesn’t matter which location you go to as long as it’s in your county.
- Early voting locations in Miami-Dade
- Early voting locations in Broward County
- Early voting locations in Monroe County
What do I bring?
Picture ID with signature
Sample ballot to speed up the voting process. There are a lot of candidates and a lot of questions, which means a long ballot. Start preparing now.
- CLICK HERE to see a SAMPLE BALLOT in Miami-Dade
- CLICK HERE to see a SAMPLE BALLOT in Broward
- CLICK HERE to see a SAMPLE BALLOT in Monroe
You can also vote in person on Election Day, November 6, at your assigned precinct from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)