Obama Slams GOP In Speech: What Happened To The Republican Party? (VIDEO)

Former President Barack Obama stepped back into the political fray on Friday.

He gave a speech at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while receiving an ethics in government award, the first speech of many before the upcoming midterm elections.

The speech was planned ahead of time to lay down the framework for his message this fall - expect more moments like these that are designed to be "much more pointed about what's at stake right now" and how "people need to take their responsibility seriously."

Here was Obama's first point:

"As a citizen, not as a president, I'm here to deliver a simple message, and that message is you need to vote because our democracy depends on it."

Obama says the stakes today are more important and "more dire" than ever before. He didn't mention Trump by name, but everyone knew what he was referring to. Trump is destroying our democracy. He even compared Trump's presidency to past trials and tribulations in the United States, such as the Civil War and the Great Depression.

Obama then slammed Republicans and the party of fiscal conservatives: What happened to the Republican Party?

"They're cozying up with the KGB."

This was just one of the zingers he used. He said things like: "This is not normal. These are extraordinary times."

Here are a few of Obama's best lines in the speech:

Obama is slated to give a rally again on Saturday for Democratic congressional candidates in California and for a Democratic Gubernatorial candidate in Ohio, next Thursday. He will also go to Pennsylvania, New York, and other states important for the party.

Even before Obama's first speech - Republicans were planning their response. Just minutes before Obama stepped on the stage, GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said "The Obama administration and their policies were rejected in 2016 when we elected Donald Trump."

That argument ignores the fact that this is a new election - and most people in the country voted for a Democrat in the White House. Trump ended up winning because of the electoral college, and the vote tallies were ultimately decided by only several hundred thousand votes in those particular states.

Watch the entire speech: