Obama decries GOP's "meanness" while campaigning for McAuliffe

“We’re at a turning point right now, both here in America and around the world,” Obama told a crowd of about 2,000 gathered outdoors on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. “Because there’s a mood out there. There’s a politics of meanness and division and conflict, of tribalism and cynicism. That’s one path. But the good news is there’s another path where we pull together and we solve big problems.”

With 10 days until Election Day, polls have shown a tight race between McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin, who has Trump’s endorsement for the job. Youngkin has kept Trump at a distance, avoiding campaign appearances with him as he attempts to appeal to an electorate that backed President Joe Biden by 10 percentage points last year. But Youngkin also has called for auditing voting machines and has launched an “election integrity task force” — efforts that play into lies and other baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

Obama linked support for such conspiracy theories to the Jan. 6 riots on the Capitol by Trump supporters trying to block certification of Biden’s victory.

“What are you willing to stand up for? When are you willing to say no to your own supporters? What are you willing to say? There are some things that are more important than getting elected,” Obama said. “And maybe American democracy is one of those things.”