Obama blasts Trump in 2020 campaign trail debut

With less than two weeks to go to the 2020 election, former U.S. President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail in Philadelphia Wednesday, launching a blistering attack on Donald Trump and his handling of the health crisis.

"Donald Trump isn't suddenly going to protect all of us. He can't even take the basic steps to protect himself."

Obama's support has been essential for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, helping his campaign outpace Trump in donations.

And speaking at a drive-in rally on his former vice president's behalf, Obama also took aim at Trump's track record, divisive rhetoric and habit of re-tweeting conspiracy theories.

"This is not a reality show. This is reality. And the rest of us have had to live with the consequences of him proving himself incapable of taking the job seriously."

A Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Biden with just a 4-percentage-point edge in Pennsylvania, and Obama's appearance there comes at a crucial time for the campaign.

Americans are voting early at a record pace this year, thanks to concerns over the health crisis and whether their ballots will be counted.

Over 42 million ballots have been cast both by mail and in person ahead of November 3.

And later on Wednesday Trump rallied his supporters in North Carolina, another key battleground state.

He briefly mentioned Obama's campaign appearance -- instead focusing on his support for Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid in 2016.

"It was nobody who campaigned harder for Crooked Hillary than Obama, right?"

Trump and Biden are scheduled to meet in their second and final debate on Thursday night.

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