Former President Barack Obama traveled to Michigan and Wisconsin on Saturday, seeking to sway voters in battleground states ahead of November’s midterm elections.
At a rally in Michigan, Obama was interrupted by a heckler as he spoke about the recent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi.
As Obama called on elected officials to “explicitly reject” dangerous rhetoric from their supporters, a man yelled at him. It was not immediately clear what the man said to Obama.
“That’s what I mean,” Obama said in response.
Addressing the man, he continued: “Sir, we have a… there is a process that we have in place in our democracy. Right now I’m talking, you’ll soon have the opportunity to talk.
“We don’t have to interrupt each other. We don’t have to yell at each other. It’s not a good way to do business. You wouldn’t do that in a workplace. You wouldn’t just interrupt people in the middle of a conversation. That’s not the way we do things. And that’s part of the point I want to make. Just basic civility and courtesy works.
Obama praised Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and slammed her Republican opponent, Tudor Dixon, for pushing a conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 pandemic was part of a plan by Democrats to overthrow the United States in retaliation for losing the civil war.
“Imagine if instead of telling a story about how we had to look at Tiger King in our sweatpants was some kind of government plot, imagine if she spent time coming up with ideas on how to create more jobs here in Michigan or to give people more health care or to improve our schools,” he said. “That’s what you expect from the governor of your state.”
Later, while campaigning in Milwaukee, Obama lambasted Republican Sen. Ron Johnson for his attacks on Social Security in a moment that went viral on social media.
“Some of you here are on Social Security. Some of your parents are on Social Security. Some of your grandparents are on Social Security. Do you know why they have Social Security?” said Obama.
“Because they worked for it. They worked hard for it. They got chapped hands for it. They had long hours and bad backs and knees to get that social security.”
If Johnson “doesn’t understand that, if he understands giving tax breaks for private jets better than he understands ensuring that seniors who have worked their whole lives can retire with dignity and respect, he’s not the one who thinks of you and knows you and sees you, and he shouldn’t be your senator from Wisconsin,” Obama added, to hoarse applause.
Newsweek contacted Johnson’s campaign for comment.