Hillary Clinton on Saturday implored black leaders to help protect the legacy of President Barack Obama, warning of a "dangerous and divisive vision" that could come under rival Donald Trump.
Clinton, speaking before Obama delivered his final keynote address to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, did not mention Trump by name but showered the president with praise and said the upcoming election would be a pivotal choice for the country.
"It's not about golf course promotions or birth certificates. It comes down to who will fight for the forgotten, who will invest in our children and who will really have your back in the White House," Clinton said.
"We need ideas not insults, real plans to help struggling Americans in communities that have been left out and left behind, not prejudice and paranoia. We can't let Barack Obama's legacy fall into the hands of someone who doesn't understand that, whose dangerous and divisive vision for our country will drag us backwards."
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The dinner offered a symbolic passing of the torch to the person Obama hopes will succeed him next year. Clinton, his former secretary of state, was honored for becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major party.
The gala featuring nearly four dozen black members of Congress, underscored Clinton's need for a large turnout of black voters in November against Trump. In a tight presidential race, Clinton is hoping that African-Americans turn out like they did for Obama's two victories when they comprised 13 percent of the electorate.
Black voters were among Clinton's most loyal supporters during the Democratic primaries, powering her to a series of wins in the South that helped her build a delegate lead against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The dinner included warnings of a Trump presidency. Retiring Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., who was honored for his service, said of the GOP nominee, "his hatred and his bigotry has pulled the rug off and the sheet off the Republican Party so we can see it for what it is."
The gathering came a day after Trump reversed himself on his long-held and false view that Obama was not born in the United States. The Republican presidential nominee said Obama was born in America, but then incorrectly suggested that Clinton had started the conspiracy theory during the 2008 presidential contest.
Clinton said of Obama: "Mr. President, not only do we know you are an American, you are a great American."
Obama pointed to progress during his two terms as president, praising Clinton as the candidate most likely to continue that work.