Former President Barack Obama campaigned for seven Democratic candidates for U.S. House in key races in California on Saturday.
Obama took the stage at the Anaheim Convention Center just one day after launching his return to the campaign train with a speech Friday at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he attacked President Donald Trump (and referred to himself, in classic Obama fashion, over 100 times).
“Today what I really want to do is highlight the extraordinary collection of candidates who have decided to step up and bring out the best in our country,” he told the crowd Saturday , according to CBS News.
Obama also pledged that Democrats would fight for gender equality, better education, and improved services for veterans.
The seven Democrat House seats have each been identified by Democrats as critical in the party’s efforts to flip the House back to a Democrat majority — and to re-install House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Speaker.
Obama called the 2018 midterm elections “a chance to restore some sanity in our politics,” according to NBC News.
“We have the chance to flip the House of Representatives and make sure that there are real checks and balances in Washington,” he said.
“We’re going to kick off our bedroom slippers and put on our marching shoes,” the former Democrat President told the crowd, recalling a line he used frequently in political speeches as president. He called on those who were politically inactive in 2016 to step up and engage in the 2018 midterms.
“It’s a consequential moment in our history,” Obama warned the crowd, signaling “things can get worse,” according to NBC.
The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee organized Saturday’s event, which did not include Obama-endorsed candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar who is running against Republican incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA). That district went for President Donald Trump in 2016, but has been in question after Hunter was indicted for alleged misuse of campaign funds. Tampa-Najjar is the grandson of a Palestinian terrorist involved in the 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympics in Munich.
The event did support other Democrat House candidates, including Mike Levin, running in the 49th district against Republican Diane Harkey.. Recently Levin hosted and praised unpopular former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at his own campaign event. Other candidates, including those in Pelosi’s home state, have begun shying away from her.