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Former President Obama speaking in Detroit in October 2020. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former President Obama accused Republicans of "rigging the game" by passing laws that restrict voting in response to baseless claims of widespread election fraud fueled by former President Trump.

Why it matters: Obama said during a virtual Economic Club of Chicago event on Friday that businesses have "a big responsibility" to speak out against the Republican-sponsored bills.

Context: At least two states — Georgia and Florida — have passed voting restriction laws in the aftermath of the 2020 election, though more than 100 of such bills had been introduced in state legislatures this year.

What they're saying: Obama said the bills and Republicans' embrace or indifference to Trump’s election lies were the “kind of dangerous behavior that we’re going to have to push back on.”

  • “It really has to do with the basic rules by which we all have agreed to keep this diverse, multiracial democracy functioning,” he added. “Are we going to stick to those rules or are we going to start rigging the game in a way that breaks it? And that’s not going to be good for business, not to mention not good for our soul.”

The big picture: Over 100 companies publicly opposed Georgia's legislation curbing voting access, though Gov. Brian Kemp (R) dismissed the corporate backlash and signed the bill into law in March.

Go deeper: Biden taps Harris to lead administration's efforts on voting rights

Go deeper

McCarthy asks Supreme Court to overturn House proxy voting rules

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) speaks during a news conference at the Capitol on Aug. 27, 2021. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is asking the Supreme Court to overturn the House proxy voting protocols that were implemented last year as a pandemic precaution.

Driving the news: McCarthy issued a statement Thursday blasting the proxy voting protocols, which allow lawmakers who are not present to choose other members as proxies to cast their votes.

Obama backs Newsom in TV ad ahead of California recall vote

Kamala Harris, then California's attorney general, greets Gavin Newsom, then the state's lieutenant governor, and then- President Obama in San Francisco in 2011. Photo : Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama called on California voters to reject the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom in a TV ad launched statewide on Thursday.

Why it matters: Obama is the latest high-profile Democrat to back Newsom against GOP-led efforts to oust him. Newsom faces challenges from numerous candidates, including conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, who's emerged as his biggest threat. Elder's image is featured in Obama's ad.

Biden takes his shot

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden says he's met the enemy — and it's America's unvaccinated.

The big picture: The majority of U.S. sentiment may be with him. But Biden's still taking a major political risk, and he and his team know it. He's testing business leaders' resolve, putting Democrats' standing in swing states and districts on the line ahead of 2022's midterm elections and tempting a tsunami of litigation over new requirements that could touch 100 million Americans.