At the actual campaign event, Trump pooh-poohed the shellacking he'd gotten same day from President Barack Obama in a speech at University of IL.
Obama's scattergun attack on Trump and the GOP, while well received in liberal circles, prompted Republican Representative Mark Meadows to respond: "Former President Obama just offered an eloquent reminder of why Americans made the right choice when they elected President Trump".
Obama, who bar a handful of public appearances and an exclusive content deal with Netflix has been relatively quiet since leaving the Oval Office, accused Trump of "capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years", during a speech at the University of IL on Friday. "A fear, an anger that is rooted in our past but is also borne in our enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes".
Private Citizen Obama came out swinging, offering a rallying cry to the #resistance for the upcoming midterm elections, and condemning the toxicity of this so-called conservatism ruling in Washington. "He's the only one who can compete with Donald Trump".
"We're going to put on our marching shoes, we're going to start knocking on some doors, we're going to start making some calls", he said to cheers.
The speech was the first indication of the reentry the Obamas have planned ahead of the midterm elections, a move filled with peril and opportunity as the most powerful duo in Democratic politics test whether they can help weaken Trump's presidency without also motivating his supporters to go to the polls.
"We are supposed to stand up to discrimination and we are sure as heck to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers", Obama said of Trump's response.
Citing the rise of the far-right and its trafficking in conspiracy theories - including the origins of his birthplace and a war on "science and facts" - Obama asked: "What happened to the Republican party?"
And while the speech was not as direct as his remarks in Illinois, Obama did cast the current administration as one that is seizing on division. "How hard can it be", Obama questioned, "saying that Nazis are bad?"
It was clear in the audience, however, that most attendees believed Trump was the biggest threat.
The speech marked Obama's strongest rebuke of Trump since he left office in January 2017.
Obama also delivered a message via a NowThis video released Saturday urging young people to get out and vote.
Indeed, even as Obama was delivering his speech on Friday in Illinois, Trump was doing his best to prove it by announcing that he wants the US Justice Department to find the author.