President Joe Biden was the warm-up act for former President Barack Obama as the two Democrats rallied for Pennsylvania Senate hopeful John Fetterman and gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro in Philadelphia Saturday evening.
The foursome walked onstage and joined hands – to the tune of Coldplay’s A Sky Full of Stars, Beau Biden’s favorite song – with Biden kicking off the program, and trolling former President Donald Trump at the top.
He boasted that the crowd assembled at Temple University’s Liacouras Center was so loud it could be heard ‘all the way to Latrobe,’ where Trump is holding his own rally in support of Fetterman’s rival, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Shapiro’s, Doug Mastriano.
Biden then smacked around Oz for being a carpetbagger, as the TV doctor lived in New Jersey until recently.
‘Oz – in Pennsylvania?’ Biden asked the screaming crowd.
‘I’ve lived in Pennsylvania longer than Oz has lived in Pennsylvania,’ the president said. ‘And I moved away when I was 10 years old,’ Biden remarked.
Later, Fetterman asked the crowd to help him ‘send Dr. Oz across the bridge.’
Obama chimed in too, telling the audience they deserved ‘somebody who’s actually from Pennsylvania.’
‘The only person that John’s opponent is fighting for is himself – and maybe Donald Trump,’ Obama said.
Former President Barack Obama (left) and President Joe Biden (right) walk onstage together at a rally for Pennsylvania Senate hopeful John Fetterman and gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro in Philadelphia on Saturday evening
In Philadelphia on Saturday evening, (from left) Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, former President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden and Senate hopeful Lt. Gov. John Fetterman appeared together at a rally in advance of Tuesday’s midterm elections
Former President Barack Obama tore into Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dr. Oz and gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano during Saturday evening’s really in Philadelphia
The rally opened with all four Democrats taking the stage. (From left) Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, former President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden and Senate hopeful Lt. Gov. John Fetterman
TOGETHER AGAIN: Former President Barack Obama (left) and President Joe Biden (right) strolled onstage together in Philadelphia at a rally for Democrats John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro.
‘Oz – in Pennsylvania?’ Biden asked the screaming crowd. ‘I’ve lived in Pennsylvania longer than Oz has lived in Pennsylvania. And I moved away when I was 10 years old,’ the president told the Philadelphia crowd
Obama ripped both Oz and Mastriano – suggesting the TV doctor was a ‘snake oil’ salesman and saying ‘woah’ about some of Mastriano’s beliefs.
‘He’s willing to take the most extreme positions on pretty much everything,’ Obama said of Mastriano.
Former President Barack Obama called attention to how Republican gubernatorial hopeful Doug Mastriano dressed up like a Confederate soldier for his faculty photo at the Army War College
‘Should gay people be able to get married or adopt children? Nope,’ the ex-president said.
‘He does think it’s OK to dress up in a Confederate uniform for the staff photo at the college he worked for,’ Obama pointed out.
In late August, Reuters reported on the photo – a bold choice for someone who represented Gettysburg, where one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles took place. And because Pennsylvanians fought for the Union.
‘It wasn’t even Halloween,’ Obama commented. ‘It was like casual Friday or something.’
To the crowd, Obama made an ask: ‘Hey Pennsylvania, let’s remember what century it is.’
‘You cannot let someone that detached from reality run your state,’ Obama said of Mastriano.
While encouraging the audience to vote, he called what happened when Democrats didn’t come out en masse in 2010, the ex-president’s first midterm.
‘Some of you are too young, but let me refresh your memory or give you a history lesson,’ Obama said.
‘When I was president I got my heart broken in the midterm elections,’ he continued.
Democrats lost 63 House seats and six Senate seats in those midterms, with the House flipping to GOP control. The Senate switched to Republican control four years later.
Obama said he sometimes imagined how much more he could have gotten done had Congress stayed under Democratic control during his eight-year tenure.
‘If we had kept the Senate in 2014, we would have had a very different Supreme Court,’ he mused.
He called midterms ‘no joke’ and said ‘sometimes we get so focused on the presidency,’ adding that ‘democracy is a team sport.’
The presidential double feature comes as polls have gotten increasingly close in the Fetterman/Oz Senate race.
‘This is the first and last time I’m ever going to walk a catwalk,’ Fetterman said as he stomped onstage to rock music.
‘As you know, I’m running against Dr. Oz,’ Fetterman said, adding that the television personality was really good at ‘pandering.’
‘I really want to get this off my chest right now,’ he told the crowd. ‘Wawa is so much better than Sheetz,’ he said to roaring cheers.
Wawa stores are associated with the eastern side of the state, whereas Sheetz is a staple in western and central Pennsylvania.
While Fetterman was born in York, the town he became mayor of, Braddock, is in western Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh, and so the lieutenant governor is typically a Sheetz fan.
‘Did somebody ever hear that I had a stroke?’ Fetterman asked the crowd.
He then joked that the Democrats had a stroke victim opening for Obama.
‘Dr. Oz is going to be onstage with Donald Trump tonight. And Doug Mastriano,’ Fetterman noted. ‘A true exercise in moderation.’
Oz’s campaign ads have pushed that the Republican would act as a moderate in the U.S. Senate, pushing that Fetterman, a progressive and former supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, is too ‘extreme.’
‘But tonight, I get to spend this stage with two presidents, our next governor and we are all 100 percent sedition-free,’ Fetterman exclaimed.
Fetterman also warned that Republicans wanted to ban abortion in Pennsylvania.
He noted that Oz ‘spent over $27 million of his own money to try and buy a seat here.’
‘Pennsylvania is not for sale,’ Fetterman told the crowd.
The Real Clear Politics polling average now gives Oz an edge, but by just .1 percent.
‘There’s no quit in John Fetterman… There’s no quit in America,’ Biden told the crowd before Fetterman’s appearance.
Shapiro’s race against Mastriano will be an easier feat for Democrats on Tuesday, as the party looks very likely to lose control of the House of Representatives and somewhat likely to also lose control of the Senate.
A supporter of Pennsylvania Democratic Senate hopeful John Fetterman sports a ‘vote’ mask in line for Saturday’s rally in Philadelphia
Audience members wait for Saturday evening’s rally with President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama to start
Democratic supporters in line in Philadelphia to see President Joe Biden and former Barack Obama’s joint appearance in support of Senate hopeful John Fetterman and gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro
The rally was held early Saturday evening at the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University
President Joe Biden is captured arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Saturday for his joint appearance with former President Barack Obama
Shapiro hit Mastriano for his hard-right beliefs.
‘If you don’t think like him, if you don’t look like him, if you don’t vote like him, if you don’t worship like him, if you don’t marry like him. You don’t have a place in his Pennsylvania,’ Shapiro warned.
‘You know how I know that?’ the Pennsylvania attorney general told the crowd. ‘Because I know where he was on January 6.’
There are photos of Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator, outside the Capitol on January 6.
Mastriano was also leading the effort in Pennsylvania to get the results of the 2020 election overturned.
‘He went there that day to stop your vote from being counted,’ Shapiro said,
He warned that as governor Mastriano would attempt to do it again with ‘plans to decertify certain voting machines in this commonwealth.’
‘Probably the ones here in Philadelphia, right?’ Shapiro said.
Obama echoed Shapiro’s tune, pointing out that Mastriano was ‘there’ on January 6.
‘He wasn’t just an observer,’ the ex-president said.
Obama also pointed out that Mastriano hired members of the MAGA mob to work for his campaign.
‘I don’t know if it was the viking hat guy or who,’ Obama remarked to laughs.
Former President Barack Obama (left) points at Democratic Senate hopeful John Fetterman (right) at a Saturday afternoon rally on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus
Former President Barack Obama (center) earlier on Saturday stumped for John Fetterman (right) on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Gisele Fetterman (left) joined the two Democratic politicians on stage
The rally was scheduled so that it would wrap up before the Phillies played the Astros in Game Six of the World Series.
‘It is good to be back in the center of the sports world,’ Obama had said when taking the stage, also giving accolades to the undefeated Eagles.
‘Sixers, well, it’s early, so we won’t talk abut them right now,’ he added of Philadelphia’s basketball team.
The White House said around 7,500 people attended the Philadelphia rally.
Earlier Saturday, Obama appeared with Fetterman on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus in the Oakland neighborhood.
Tweaking his presentation to the local crowd, Obama mentioned the Steelers, who’ve only won two games all season.
‘It’s great to be in Steelers country, even if – like the Bears – we’re both doing a little rebuilding right now,’ Obama said.
The Fetterman campaign estimated about 6,500 – with 1,000 in overflow – gathered outside Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning for the afternoon rally.
‘If someone is willing to peddle snake oil to make a buck, then he’s probably willing to sell us snake oil to get elected,’ Obama also warned of Oz in Pittsburgh.
The University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning hovers over a crowd in Oakland Saturday gathered to see former President Barack Obama and Democratic Senate hopeful John Fetterman
Former President Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of 7,500, according to the Fetterman campaign, in Pittsburgh Saturday, before traveling across the state for a joing appearance with President Joe Biden
Democratic candidate for Senate John Fetterman greets supporters on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh Saturday