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Push to Name Highway for Obama Was Inspired by Trump

Only man to defeat the former president in a race says they’ve ‘overcome past differences’

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., after being sworn in as the 44th president in 2009. Rush beat Obama in the Democratic primary for a House seat in 2000. (CQ Roll Call file photo)
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., after being sworn in as the 44th president in 2009. Rush beat Obama in the Democratic primary for a House seat in 2000. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

The only politician to ever defeat Barack Obama in an election introduced a bill to designate the portion of Interstate Route 57 as “Barack Obama Highway.”

Illinois Democrat Rep. Bobby Rush said his move is in part a response to President Donald Trump.

“I am convinced that given the current administration, and when you compare the current administration to the Obama administration … Americans, many of them in this nation, have an allegiance to Obama,” he said.

Rush added, “He has risen to prominence”

The portion of the interstate would be located in Illinois.

“It all started in the South Side of Chicago,” Rush said of Obama’s success.

Rush added, “I found that it was the only major thoroughfare that did not have an actual name attached to it. It was only identified by I-57, the number, so, I thought it was an ideal place to carry the name President Barack H. Obama.”

The congressman beat Obama in the 2000 Democratic congressional primary. Obama was running to unseat him.

Rush first won his seat in 1992.

“We’ve overcome past differences. … There was a period of animosity that existed and that is over,” Rush said on their relationship. “I’m very proud of his record, I’m very proud of what he was able to achieve becoming president of the United States.”

Does Obama know about the bill?

“I’m sure he will find out about it,” Rush said.

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