President Barack Obama joined former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at their first joint campaign event of 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina — just hours after FBI director James Comey said he would not recommend prosecuting her for mishandling classified information.
Clinton and Obama traveled together to North Carolina on Air Force One — a taxpayer-funded perk only partially paid for by the Clinton campaign, and not available to her Republican opponent, Donald Trump.
The presumptive Democratic nominee linked her policies to Obama’s. She praised Obama’s economic management, and promised to “build on the president’s idea to make community college free.”
She slammed economic inequality — which has grown dramatically under Obama — but repeated many of his own policy prescriptions for reducing it.
Clinton also borrowed a line from Obama’s keynote address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, promising a country “where we do things together, not as red states and blue states, but the United States.” She cribbed a few other Obama refrains, including “Fired up and ready to go.”
In her remarks, Clinton also knocked Trump for his association with the Birther movement, calling Obama “someone who has never forgotten where he came from — and Donald, if you’re out there tweeting, it’s ‘Hawaii.'”
Obama, who promised in 2012 that “this will be my last political campaign no matter what,” stumped for Clinton, praised his former rival and recalled how the two had united after the 2008 primary to campaign together.
“There has never been anybody, man or woman, more qualified” for the presidency than Clinton, he said.
He also touted his own economic record, erroneously claiming that he had cut the federal deficit by 75%.
Obama accused Republicans of wanting women to withdraw from the workforce and wanting “people of color” not to be competitive.
Earlier Tuesday, Clinton and Obama were linked more uncomfortably, in the context of the investigation into Clinton’s email server, which came to light partly as a result of congressional investigations of their handling of the Benghazi terror attack in 2012.
While saying the FBI would not recommend prosecution because of a lack of “intent,” Comey systematically debunked Clinton’s many lies and fabrications about her e-mail server, including the claim that she had never sent any emails marked “classified.”
Obama, who has claimed his is “the most transparent administration in history,” was also implicated indirectly, since emails from Clinton’s private server were sent throughout the government. However, the White House said it would not comment until a formal decision by the Department of Justice had actually been made.
Neither Obama nor Clinton mentioned the FBI decision.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.