Former President Barack Obama rallied Georgia Democrats Friday in support of Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock in the Senate runoff elections in January.
“You are now once again the center of our civic universe because the special election in Georgia is going to determine ultimately the course of the Biden presidency,” Obama said.
The former president spoke with Ossoff and Warnock in a virtual rally along with activist Stacy Abrams about the importance of the race.
Obama praised Georgia Democrats, organizers, and grassroots activists for rallying to flip the state to former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
“My first message is thank you, Georgia, because you inspired and you point the way for the rest of the country,” he said.
Obama celebrated Republicans who joined Democrats by supporting Biden and expressed hope that they would vote for Senate Democrat candidates as well.
“One of the reasons that Georgia ended up voting, after recount after recount, for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris was because there [are] a number of folks who decided, you know, partisanship only goes so far,” he said.
The former president said a 50-50 split Senate with Ossof and Warnock would force more moderate Republicans to work with Senate Democrats to move forward on the Biden/Harris agenda.
“This is not just about Georgia. This is about America. This is about the world, and it’s in your power to in fact have an impact,” he said.
Obama recalled how frustrating it was during his presidency when Republicans took the Senate majority and blocked a lot of his agenda.
“Once Mitch McConnell was controlling that gavel and controlling the agenda in the Senate we saw a lot of progress halt,” he said.
Obama pointed to recently deceased civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis as an example of what amazing things could happen if people stood up and voted.
“Who would have thought that a young man in his early 20s with a kind of a scruffy looking overcoat and a backpack, standing in front of a bridge, would end up triggering a moral awakening that transformed a nation?” he asked, reminding them that “amazing” and “impossible” things could happen because of voting.