(CN) — President Barack Obama and the Republican who hopes to replace him presented vastly different interpretations of the past and visions of the future in head-to-head appearances in Jacksonville, Fla.
Obama spoke to a crowd of about 7,000 at the University of North Florida Arena on Thursday, while Trump appeared before just over 4,500 at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center the same afternoon.
Clearly relishing one of his last turns on a campaign state as president, Obama said he was surprised at the unpredictable nature of the 2016 campaign, and reminded attendees of just how important their vote will be on Tuesday.
“All the progress we’ve made these past eight years go out the window if we do not win this election,” he said, encouraging attendees to go to the polls and vote for Hillary Clinton.
He added later, “Donald Trump is uniquely unqualified. Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit for this office.”
While many in the crowd booed whenever Trump was mentioned, Obama said while he shares their opinion of the GOP candidate, “He can’t hear your boos.
“But he can hear your votes,” the president added.
Obama also contrasted this year’s race for the White House with the 2012 election, when he squared off against Republican Mitt Romney.
“When I ran against Mitt Romney in 2012, I disagreed with him on all kinds of things,” the president said. “All through, I thought I would be a better president … but I did not think that our democracy would be injured by him taking office.”
“This is different,” Obama said of Donald Trump. “This is somebody who would do damage to our democracy. Who is uniquely unqualified and shows no interest in becoming qualified.”
He praised Clinton and said she “made him a better president.”
He also said Clinton understands the challenges of the presidency and has “paid her dues.”
“When things don’t go her way, she doesn’t pout. She doesn’t whine. She doesn’t complain. she doesn’t blame someone else. She doesn’t say ‘it’s rigged’; She just works harder and comes back stronger,” Obama said.
“You’ve got one person you know is not qualified and one person who is eminently qualified. The only thing left to do is vote,” the president told the cheering crowd.
Trump told his supporters that America is on the “cusp of something that’s so amazing, a historic change – a transfer of power from a failed political establishment.”
In contrast, he promised to “return that power to you, the people,” declaring “our movement represents all Americans from all backgrounds and all walks of life.”
“We’re asking for the votes of Republicans, Democrats, independents and first-time voters of which there are many,” the billionaire real estate developer said.
“To all Americans I say it is time for new leadership,” he continued. Just think about what we can accomplish in the first 100 days of a Trump administration. We are going to have the biggest tax cuts since Ronald Reagan. And Hillary is raising taxes very substantially. She is raising our taxes. We are going to eliminate every unnecessary job-killing regulation. We will cancel every illegal Obama executive order.”
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