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.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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