His step back into the political arena offered a preview of his message for the fall's midterms.
An Obama office official said before the speech that they could not say whether the former president would mention Trump directly in IL but added that "regardless of whether he mentions him by name, it will be very clear who he is talking about".
Republicans said voters won't find Obama's argument appealing. Obama, who has chimed in from time-to-time to remark on President Trump's words and actions, is expected to address threats to the United States' democracy and the consequences of apathy, and urge fellow Americans to vote this November.
It's the first time 44's publicly attacked 45 since leaving office and, honestly, it's the kind of talk Democrats have been dying to hear from Obama.
Trump also claimed, as he has in the past, that economic indicators were bad under Obama but excellent during his own presidency.
Obama's return to the political spotlight came at the University of IL at Champaign-Urbana Friday.
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In many ways, Obama spoke beyond Trump - calling him the "symptom not the cause" of a broader crisis in American democracy - indicting the Republican Party for what he described as timidity in failing to reject the politics of conspiracy theories and resentments.
Here is what seven right-wingers have said in response to Obama's speech.
Democrats are hoping to ride an anti-Donald Trump "blue wave" to gain seats and secure control of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, and are also battling for seats in the Senate. And we're sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers.
"We're supposed to stand up to discrimination", Obama said. Obama, according to Schlapp, "spent billions of dollars in stimulus money while creating a stagnant economy".
"When We All Vote" is housed in an organization called Civic Advisors, which also handles several post presidential programs Michelle Obama is involved in.
On Thursday, the former president is scheduled to campaign in Cleveland for Richard Cordray's campaign for Ohio Governor.
Obama's remarks come as the midterm election enters full swing.