Obama reminded the audience that the economic recovery began during his administration and defended his handling of the 2008 economic collapse. He said, as much as politicians talk about each election being the most important of their lifetimes, "this moment really is different".
"With the House in Democrat hands, they won't be able to repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but they will be able to guarantee that no more pro-growth, pro-worker legislation will be enacted". Obama asked an auditorium packed with college students who greeted him with a roaring standing ovation.
"If you thought elections don't matter, I hope these past two years have corrected that impression", he said. "This is not normal", Obama said.
"He says, "I'm not making that up".
The 44th president of the U.S. was also scathing about Mr Trump's initial restraint when asked a year ago to condemn far-right protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.
While it is unknown if Obama will mention Trump by name or not, he is expected to make a direct rebuke to Trump's way of governing.
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Republicans have declined to seek the papers, and instead have gathered documents from his work as White House counsel to Bush. Democrats and progressives have rallied against his nomination, warning that he could vote to overturn the decision in Roe v.
In a now infamous comment following the clash of white supremacists and counter-protesters, which saw counter-protester Heather Heyer killed when a Nazi-sympathiser drove a auto into a crowd, Mr Trump said there were "some very fine people on both sides".
Most Republicans, he said, have been silent or "unwilling to find their backbone" to stand up to Trump. "Saying that Nazis are bad", Obama continued.
The former president urged Americans to take on issues such as racism, saying progress can be made. "Now, the former president is determined they never get them back!"
"The claim that everything will turn out OK because there are people inside the White House who secretly aren't following the president's orders, that is not a check", Obama said.
Obama will roll out his mid-term message when he receives the Institute of Government and Public Affairs Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government at UIUC at 11 a.m.
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Throughout his testimony, Kavanaugh has repeatedly insisted he fully embraces the importance of judicial independence. Trump says he's pleased with his nominee's performance, and Republicans are united behind him.
Next Thursday, Obama leads a rally in Cleveland for Ohio governor candidate Richard Cordray and other Ohio Democrats.
His comments came during a speech at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, where he accepted an ethics in government award.
But today, the former president made clear the consequences of being quiet -- of polite presidential deference - have become too "dire". He'll next travel to California for an event with seven House candidates in Orange County.
I would not be surprised if Obama - as long as he is in IL - does some campaigning with Democratic governor nominee J.B. Pritzker.
President Obama speaking to students at the University of IL. He's just capitalizing on resentments politicians have been fanning for years, a fear and anger that's rooted in our past but also born of the tremendous upheavals that have taken place'.
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Hillary Clinton tweeted that the federal court judge may be changing his tune on the 1973 decision legalizing abortion nationwide. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, asked whether a president could be criminally investigated or indicted.