CHICAGO — Former President Barack Obama returned to Chicago to rally voters while supporting gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker and other Democrats on the ballot in the coming election.
Obama's Sunday event at the University of Illinois at Chicago came as Gov. Bruce Rauner and other Republicans campaigned across Illinois before Tuesday's election.
After campaigning for Democrats across the nation, Obama said it was nice to be home. The rally combined the energy of the 2008 campaign with a sense of urgency from the man who rode that energy into the Oval Office.
"This moment is too important, too profound to sit out," Obama said.
Obama didn't hold back either when describing the Republican majority in Washington, saying he has never seen politicians, "lie so boldly and without shame."
He says he can't figure out after trying for close to 10 years to dismantle Obamacare why Republicans want to protect people with pre-existing conditions from being denied health care. While criticizing the Republican's stance on dismantling his signature health care legislation, Obama also challenged Republicans for giving President Trump credit for the state of the economy.
Obama urged the crowd to support a Democratic ticket that includes attorney general candidate and state Sen. Kwame Raoul and congressional candidates Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten.
Raoul faces Republican Erika Harold. Casten is challenging GOP Rep. Peter Roskam while Underwood is up against Rep. Randy Hultgren. Their races are among four Illinois congressional seats Democrats are targeting as the party tries to win control of the House.
Illinois’ senior Sen. Dick Durbin told the audience of around 5,000 that Tuesday was not just another election, but rather is about saying no to fear and hate.
"Take your values take your tweets and take them to where the sun never shines," Sen. Dick Durbin said.
Just looking at the latest polls, Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker may not need the help from the former president to defeat Gov. Rauner, but it didn't stop him from taking the podium.
"Republicans are just plain wrong. Democrats are about being fair and decent we can be to one another," Pritzker said.
Rauner made stops at cafes from Decatur to St. Charles and was holding an evening rally in Orland Park.