"I appreciate all of you being on this call," Obama said. "But man, this is serious business. Whatever you've done so far is not enough."

President Barack Obama (R) is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden in Oakdale, Wednesday. April 16, 2014.
President Barack Obama (R) is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden in Oakdale, Wednesday. April 16, 2014. (AP Archive)

Former US president Barack Obama has helped his former No. 2 raise more than $11 million on Tuesday, making his first campaign appearance alongside Joe Biden since endorsing him for president in April.

"I appreciate all of you being on this call," Obama said at a virtual fundraiser. "But man, this is serious business. Whatever you've done so far is not enough."

The virtual fundraiser collected $7.6 million from 175,000 grassroots contributors. Obama and Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, also hosted a private online portion for high-dollar donors, which was not open to reporters and brought in more than $3.4 million.

The haul was the most for any Biden campaign event, coming on the heels of the Democratic Party and Biden's campaign outraising Republican President Donald Trump in May for the first time.

The power of Obama

Tuesday's fundraiser showed the drawing power of Obama, who remains overwhelmingly popular among the Democratic base and who will be counted on as a key campaign figure this autumn.

It also highlighted the dramatic changes the coronavirus pandemic has wrought on traditional campaigning, with the two politicians sharing a split-screen from their living rooms, while supporters tuned in via livestream.

Early in the 2020 campaign, Biden's weak fundraising numbers compared with some of his Democratic competitors were a source of concern. But his fundraising from donors has picked up in recent weeks as his lead in national opinion polls grew and the country reacted to incidents of police brutality.

Trump, who has been campaigning for a second term since 2017, still has far more cash on hand ahead of the November 3 presidential election.

His campaign noted in a statement that it raised more than $10 million last weekend, when the president appeared in Oklahoma for his first live campaign rally since the outbreak erupted.

"There is no enthusiasm for Joe Biden," said Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman.

'Election and civil rights movement are connected'

Obama, who has only occasionally criticised Trump since leaving office in 2017, faulted his successor's behaviour several times on Tuesday, saying he "exploits" divisions among Americans and calling his approach to governing "mean-spirited."

"There is no disconnect between the urgency of this election and the political moment and what has been happening on the streets," said Obama, referring to the civil rights protests that have swept across major cities since George Floyd, a Black man, died last month after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

READ MORE: Trump signs order on police reform to quell angry anti-racism protests

Obama also criticised Trump for ignoring advice from public health experts on how to handle the coronavirus and for giving cover to authoritarian governments by attacking the free press and advocating military force against protesters.

"There's a big contest, not just in this country but around the world, about who we are," Obama said.

Biden, who has an extensive foreign policy record both as a US senator and as vice president, said he would pick up the phone on his first day in office with a simple message to allies around the world: "America is back."

As the event ended, Obama said: "Love you, Joe."

"Love you too, pal," Biden responded.

Biden has wins Democratic presidential primary 

Biden has won the Democratic presidential primary in New York.

Tuesday’s results came as no surprise since Biden had accumulated the requisite number of delegates to clinch the presidential primaries for their parties.

New York is a reliably Democratic-voting state. The general election is in November.

The state is also holding congressional primaries on Tuesday. One of the highest-profile races is between Eliot Engel and Jamaal Bowman. Engel is seeking his 17th-House term. Bowman is backed by progressive icon Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Source: Reuters