LAS VEGAS ― Former President Barack Obama warned Nevadans on Monday that staying home during November’s midterm elections “would be profoundly dangerous to our democracy,” saying in a speech that these elections are “more important than any I can remember in my lifetime, and that includes when I was on the ballot.”
“We have a chance to restore some sanity in our politics,” Obama said at a packed rally at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. “Ultimately there is only one real check on abuses of power, there’s only one real check on bad policy and that is you and your vote.”
“Don’t boo. Don’t hashtag. All that stuff is nice to do. Just vote!” he said, reprising a favorite line from his days on the presidential campaign trail.
His appearance at the rally here, in the Democratic stronghold of Clark County, followed the beginning of early voting in the state. Several key counties reported record turnout over the weekend, a sign that bodes well for Democrats and their efforts to capture an open gubernatorial seat and unseat Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.).
While he never called out President Donald Trump by name, Obama directly criticized some of his successor’s most controversial rhetoric and policies on issues like health care, immigration and the deficit. He noted that Republicans are engaging in deception by promising to voters that they will protect pre-existing conditions after offering bills to kill those protections and lawsuits to dismantle them.
“I know you can bet on anything here in Vegas, but you don’t want to bet that Republicans are actually going to protect your health care,” Obama said at the event following an introduction by some Democrats on the ballot here, including Senate candidate Rep. Jacky Rosen and gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak.
The former president urged the audience to “remember who started” the ongoing economic recovery Republicans are touting ahead of the November elections, noting that Democrats had to deal with a recession upon his election 10 years…