From: Nicole Duran
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2016 10:32 PM
To: Rutherford, Sarah D. EOP/WHO
Subject: Print Pool Report 7
President Obama began speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner at 9:26 p.m.
First Lady Michelle Obama joined him when he took the stage in a beautiful, full-length black and white gown with a sparkly/silver undertone. She smiled and waved and exited the stage.
His remarks were carried live but a few highlights:
Obama acknowledged that Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights leader was in the crowd: "It's always good to be with the conscience of Congress."
As for retiring, long-time New York Democrat, Rep. Charles Rangel: "We'll be riding off into the sunset together," Obama joked.
Obama started by saying the audience may have noticed "an extra spring in my step tonight. I don't know about you guys, but I am so relieved that the whole 'birther' thing is over," he continued. "I mean ISIL, North Korea, poverty, climate change-none of those things weighed on my mind like the validity of my birth certificate."
With only a few months left in his presidency, "just under the wire, we got that resolved. In other breaking news: The world is round, not flat. Lord."
He joked how if he wants to attend subsequent CBC dinners: "Next time I show up; I have to buy a ticket."
He referenced Trump again in noting the opening of the new museum of African American History. He chided the GOP nominee for his pitch to black voters that they should give the former reality TV star a chance because "they have nothing else to lose."
"We have something to teach him," Obama said, adding the crowd could give him a civics lesson because he missed learning about the Jim Crow era.
"We may have some challenges, but we're not stupid," Obama summed up about why black voters should ignore Trump's cynical pitch.
After saying that Trump has actively fought against civil rights, Obama went into an impassioned bit about why voters, especially African-American voters, cannot sit out this election.
He discussed measures that he said are aimed at preventing Americans from voting.
"We were supposed to have already won that fight," he said. "We are the only...democracy in the world actively trying to discourage voting."
Then he said if the crowd really wanted to give him a proper sendoff, they will vote.
"But our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that is on the ballot right now. And there is one candidate who will advance those things, and there is another candidate who's defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy" is opposing those things, Obama said.
"I will consider it a personal insult" if African Americans sit out this election. If you want to give mea a good send off, go vote!
"Hope is on the ballot and fear is on the ballot too."
He wrapped up his remarks at 9:48 p.m.
White House Correspondent