Former President Barack Obama rejoined Joe Biden for the first time in the 2020 election campaign cycle at a virtual fundraiser on Tuesday (June 23,) which brought in a record $11 million.
ABC News reports as many as 175,000 grassroots donors raised $7.6 million for the fundraiser and an extra $3.4 million was raised by high-roller contributors. It was the first time Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, had been joined by his former boss to campaign, although Obama had previously endorsed Biden in April.
"I am here to say that help is on the way if we do the work, because there's nobody that I trust more to be able to heal this country and get it back on track, than my dear friend Joe Biden," said Obama.
He urged Democrats to remain steadfast about the presidential race and not let the momentum wane. At present, Biden reportedly holds a strong lead in the polls over President Trump.
"We can't be complacent or smug or suggest that somehow it's so obvious that this president hasn't done a good job because, look, he won once, and it's not like we didn't have a good clue as to how he was going to operate the last time," Obama said.
Biden has had few public appearances, including one at a veterans memorial in May where he and wife, Jill Biden were both seen wearing masks. He has run his campaign in a virtual manner because of the coronavirus pandemic. Conversely Trump recently held an in-person rally over the weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma despite increases in infections in the state. Obama was critical of that move.
"We have to listen to public health experts and -- poor Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, who you know, is having to testify and then see his advice clouded by the person he's working for. We've got to pay attention to what the public health experts say when it comes to this campaign season," Obama said.
Biden had his most successful fundraising month in May, having raised $80.8 million, according to ABC News. Obama’s spokesperson, Katie Hill said that this is the first of many events to come where he will stump for Biden and help raise even more funds.
"President Obama looks forward to campaigning and raising money this fall for Democrats up and down the ballot, just as he did in the 2018 midterm cycle. He believes this November's election -- the most consequential in our lifetimes -- is too important for anyone to sit out," she said.
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