The Latest: Obama: Character of US ‘is on the ballot’

DETROIT (AP) — The Latest on former President Barack Obama campaigning for Democrats in Wisconsin in Michigan (all times local):

9:05 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama says the character of the United States “is on the ballot” in the first midterm election since President Donald Trump took office.

Campaigning at a Detroit high school for Michigan Democrats on Friday, Obama told a crowd of thousands that the “only check on bad behavior is you and your vote.”

He criticized Trump and policies enacted by the Republican-led Congress and said while he supports Democrats’ agenda, “there’s something bigger at stake” in the coming election. He pointed to Trump’s lies and said he was concerned about threats to the freedom of the press and groups of people being targeted based on what they look like.

Earlier Friday, Obama visited Milwaukee to urge people to vote for Democrats in Wisconsin.

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5:25 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama criticized President Donald Trump’s tenure in office in a fiery speech that took aim at him and other Republicans for “making stuff up.”

The speech was one of Obama’s sharpest and most direct takedowns of Trump’s presidency, although the former president was careful to never mention Trump by name Friday.

Obama cited a recent Trump comment that he would pass a tax cut before the November election. Obama then told the crowd in a Milwaukee high school gymnasium that “Congress isn’t even in session. He just makes it up.”

Obama’s visit in Milwaukee was to urge people to vote for Wisconsin’s Democratic candidates.

At one point Obama said “everything I say you can look up.”

Obama will be in Michigan later Friday for another rally.

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This version of the story corrects the 4th paragraph to say Obama’s visit to Milwaukee, not Trump.

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