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The Latest Obama promotes Dems who’ve ’decided to step up’

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Latest on former President Barack Obama (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

Barack Obama has made a political appearance in California on behalf of Democratic congressional candidates he says have “decided to step up and bring out the best in our country.”

The former president says “we’re in a challenging moment” when enormous changes are taking place. He says ‘people feel unsettled, people feel scared,” and they’re worried about their children’s future.

Obama says there are no problems that can’t be solved if “we’re working together and we’re true to the traditions that are the best in America.” But he’s also warning that it’s “always tempting for politicians — for their own gain and for people in power — to try to see if they can divide people, scapegoat folks.”

When that happens, he says, people become cynical and decide not to participate in the political process — creating a vacuum that lobbyists and special interests fill.

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8:15 a.m.

Former President Barack Obama is in California to campaign for Democratic congressional candidates one day after issuing a stinging rebuke of his successor in the White House.

Obama is set to appear later Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center in the heart of Orange County, a once-solid Republican stronghold that voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election that Donald Trump won.

Obama will share the billing with seven Democratic candidates in competitive U.S. House districts across California. Those races are considered crucial to the party’s efforts to retake control of the House from Republican. Four of those districts are at least partly in Orange County.

Obama issued a scorching critique of President Donald Trump on Friday in a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.