Barack Obama Tells Voters Exactly Why Donald Trump Is Stoking Fears About the “Caravan”

And it has nothing to do with “securing the border.”

Bastiaan Slabbers/ZUMA

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Former President Barack Obama on Sunday mocked his successor’s efforts to fear-monger over the so-called “caravan” of migrants coming to the United States, warning supporters that such tactics were designed to distract from larger Republican goals, including scaling back health care access and implementing tax cuts for the rich.

“Now, two weeks before this election, they’re telling us that the single most grave threat to America is a bunch of poor, impoverished, broke, hungry refugees a thousand miles away,” Obama told supporters at a campaign rally for Sen. Joe Donnelly. He then condemned President Trump’s recent order to send thousands of soldiers to the border.

“Look, look, look caravan, caravan—while they’re giving tax cuts to their billionaire friends.”

The former president also compared Republicans’ recent anti-immigrant rhetoric to the party’s past hand-wringing over the 2014 Ebola outbreak and Hillary Clinton’s emails—instances Obama framed as attempts to stoke fear in spite of the truth. “You know they didn’t really care about it,” Obama said. “Because if they did they’d be pretty upset that our current president has an unsecured iPhone that he leaves in his golf cart that the Chinese are listening to all the time.”

He ended his remarks with a call for truth amid what for many has felt like a relentless onslaught of falsehoods.

“When people lie with abandonment, democracy doesn’t work.”

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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