And in accepting Trump, Obama said, Republicans have abandoned many of their long-held guiding principles, like forgoing lower deficits in favor of tax cuts and maintaining a hard line with Russian Federation. "He is a symptom, not the cause", Obama said.
In his speech, Obama specifically cited Trump having already put pressure on his AG to use the criminal justice system "as a cudgel to punish political opponents", and declared that a United States President should not "threaten freedom of the press because they say things or publish stories we don't like".
"Or to explicitly call on the attorney general to protect members of our own party from prosecution because an election happens to be coming up".
Other voices will fill the void and "the politics of fear and resentment" will take hold when people don't vote. "They start undermining norms that assure accountability and they appeal to racial nationalism that's barely veiled".
Michelle Obama's book, "Becoming", goes on sale November 13 - exactly a week after election day.
"Just a glance at recent headlines should tell you this moment really is different", Obama said.
Obama is also planning campaign trips to Pennsylvania in September, according to ABC 7 in Chicago, along with a NY fundraiser for the progressive National Democratic Redistricting Committee, led by former Attorney General Eric Holder, Obama's longtime friend.
"In 2016, voters rejected president Obama's policies and his dismissiveness towards half the country", Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens said in response to Mr Obama's speech.
The former president's remarks in IL came ahead of a series of campaign stops to help fellow Democrats running in the November midterm elections. He said it immediately after a description of the Republican Party's party-wide agenda of making voting more hard for marginalized constituencies, rejecting science, or encouraging the Benghazi-birtherism mania that flourished under his watch.
Republicans passed a tax bill that exploded the deficit by $1.5 trillion, Obama noted.
The incident occurred during a campaign stop with IL gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker.
Last month, Obama released a first round of endorsements - 81 candidates up and down the ballot - and there will be a second round of endorsements and additional campaign activity in advance of the midterms, according to his office.
Discussing the financial crash of 2008, Obama talked about the staggering job losses that continued into 2009 and beyond, arguing that actions he took in the early days of his administration stemmed the bleeding and initiated a return to job growth.
"Obama criticized Trump during a speech Friday in IL, calling the current president "the symptom, not the cause" of division and polarization in the U.S". The outcome will decide control of Congress and three dozen gubernatorial contests.
Trump quickly responded on Friday, telling a crowd in Fargo, North Dakota, that he "fell asleep" watching Obama's speech. After all, if you think Republicans were mainly reacting to excessive debt rather than engaging in a racialized backlash, then the emergence of Trump as the party's standard-bearer after four years of putatively serious fiscal conservatism is a sharp change.
Obama left office with a 57 percent approval rating, and like most presidents, his standing has only improved since departing the West Wing.
"When We All Vote" is housed in an organization called Civic Advisors, which also handles several post presidential programs Michelle Obama is involved in.
The one-time community organizer used his notable gift of oration and implored students to get out and vote, setting up the election as a defining moment for the direction of the country.