US Election 2020
Obama issues warning to ‘revolutionary’ Democrats
WASHINGTON, Nov 17: Former US President Barack Obama has issued a warning to Democratic presidential candidates, cautioning them against policies that are not "rooted in reality".
Obama said Democrats risked alienating voters if they lurched too far to the left politically. The former president, speaking at a fundraising event, said most voters didn't want to "tear down the system". Obama is yet to publicly back a Democratic candidate. The field is crowded, with 18 Democrats vying for the nomination to take on Trump in the 2020 election.
The frontrunners are former Vice-President Joe Biden, senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. At the event held in Washington on Friday, Obama did not mention any candidate by name nor criticise any specific policy proposal.
Instead, he used the appearance to urge Democrats to "pay some attention" to voters on issues such as health care and immigration. These voters, Obama said, did not necessarily have the same views as what he called "certain left-leaning Twitter feeds" or "the activist wing of our party".
The comments, which come less than four months before the Democratic primaries, represent one of Obama's most pointed interventions in the race so far. They may be seen as a critique of senators Sanders and Warren - widely seen as two of the most left-wing candidates in the field.
Both candidates have called for far-reaching political and economic change, including policies that would end private health insurance and decriminalise illegal border crossings. But Obama, who occupied the White House from 2009 to 2017, said the country was "less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement". -BBC