The Associated Press / Former President Barack Obama has hit the campaign trail, hoping to salvage the presidential campaign of his former vice president, Joe Biden.

Seems like old times. A presidential election is close. The polls favor the Democratic candidate. And Barack Obama is out there on the hustings being — shall we say — somewhat less than truthful.

The former president and his eight years of rule against the majority of the American people are one reason Donald Trump, and not Hillary Clinton, is the current president of the United States.

But there will always be a segment of the population that is an apologist for Obama, just like there is one for Bill Clinton and his family's many scandals.

The 44th president, no matter his record, is a hero to many as the first Black president, for by all rights being a good husband and father, and for giving a well-turned teleprompter speech.

But by November of 2016, much of the electorate was fed up with the "you-can-keep-your-doctor" Affordable Care Act, the pursuit of conservatives through avenues such as the Internal Revenue Service, and policy by phone and pen.

So in one of the greatest upsets in United States history, what had come to be hoped for by presidential intimates as "Obama's third term" — under Clinton — was dashed.

Meanwhile, Obama had talked his aging vice president, Joe Biden, out of running in 2016 and tried to do the same in early 2019 concerning 2020.

"You don't have to do this, Joe," he told Biden, according to The New York Times. "You really don't."

Once he decided to make the race, Obama reportedly told advisers they needed to ensure Biden didn't "embarrass himself" or "damage his legacy," the newspaper reported.

The former vice president, of course, has embarrassed himself frequently, despite infrequently campaigning, including over the weekend when he was unable to think of Trump's name, stammeringly referring to him as "George, ah, George ...," and then by greatly underestimating the cost of government-paid college education for students.

But Obama, not wanting to see another vestige of his administration tank, has hit the campaign trail once again.

And if the American public hears much of the same type of claptrap they heard from him in Florida several days ago, they quickly will recall why they gave him no "third term."

One online news source counted "at least 19" false claims by Obama in one speech, but we want to cite just a few.

The former president embarrasses himself when he trots out his frequent bon mot about Trump's pre-COVID-19 roaring economy being an extension of his. But he couldn't help himself.

Obama said: "America created 1.5 million more jobs in the last year of the Obama-Biden administration than in the first three years of the Trump-Pence administration."

If he's referring to creating more jobs in 2016 than the president did in combined 2017-2019, that's demonstrably false. And more people were employed in all three of Trump's first three years than in the former president's last year.

Obama said, "The only people truly better off than they were four years ago are the billionaires who got Trump tax cuts."

Democrats apparently need new speech writers since they keep repeating this lie.

Not only did a majority of Americans receive a tax cut from Trump's 2017 tax law, but a recent Gallup poll found 56% of registered voters said they were better off than they were four years ago, a record high.

Obama said: "He doesn't even acknowledge that there's a [coronavirus] problem" and quoted Trump saying, "If you put some bleach in you [to cure the virus], that might clean things up."

From a very public mention of the virus at the 2020 State of the Union address to his latest campaign rally, the president frequently mentions the global pandemic. And as to the bleach comment, he specifically said he was not talking about putting bleach inside anyone.

Obama said, variously: Trump wondered if we could "nuke hurricanes," said the president "cannot call out or even criticize white supremacists" and said Trump is "MIA" concerning "Russia [putting] bounties on the heads of our brave soldiers in Afghanistan."

Left-leaning said the hurricane comment is "unproven," the white supremacist mention is proven false by the president's speeches (including very publicly in the first presidential debate) and the Pentagon has said there was never "corroborating evidence" of such a Russia bounties program.

Obama understands if Biden looks bad, he looks bad in extension. That's why he's out there while Biden usually calls it a day well before noon.

And if his former vice president is elected, he knows he'll have instant access to the White House again. But that's exactly what voters didn't want four years ago.