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President Obama boosts for Clinton, Strickland at Columbus event

Posted at 5:35 PM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 00:31:45-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- President Barack Obama spoke at the Ohio Democratic Party's annual state dinner Thursday night.

Obama spoke for more than a half hour, touting Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat.

The president also went on at length about Republican nominee Donald Trump and the politicians who have supported him.

"The problem is not that all Republicans think the way this guy does," Obama said. "The problem is that they've been riding this tiger for a long time. They've been feeding their base all kinds of crazy for years, primarily for political expedience."

Obama said he's more forgiving of the people who actually believed Trump's untruths than those "than the people who knew better and stood silently by because it was politically expedient."

"You're not even consistent anymore," Obama said of Republican leaders. "You claim the mantle of the party of family values and this is the guy you nominate? And stand by and endorse and campaign with? Until finally at the 11th hour you withdraw your nomination? You don't get credit for that."

The dinner is the party's largest fundraising event. It came the same night that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stopped for campaign events in Columbus and Cincinnati.

Former Ohio Gov. Dick Celeste said it's important for Obama to spend time in the key battleground state.

"It's an example of how devoted Democrats at every level are to the success of the Hillary Clinton campaign, having President [Bill] Clinton in tomorrow and President Obama tonight in Columbus," Celeste said. "The Democrats are unified. Republicans have been dramatically divided by Trump's presidential campaign."