Former President Barack Obama speaks with students at the University of Illinois where he received the Paul H. Douglas Ethics Award in government on September 7, 2018 in Urbana, Illinois.
Scott Olson | Getty Images
Former President Barack Obama warned Democratic mainstream candidates on Friday to lean too far to the left in their campaigns, and expressed concern that certain liberal political proposals on health and immigration might have gone beyond public opinion.
As an unusual address to a space of wealthy democratic donors, Obama called on Democratic candidates to formulate pragmatically their messages to voters. While he did not mention a specific presidential candidate or proposal, he cautioned Obama that the average American voter did not agree with the views of "certain left-wing Twitter feeds or the activist wing of our party."
Obama said this concerns are not a critique of party activists whose job it is to "nudge and nudge and write and inspire and motivate." But he emphasized that their ultimate task was to be elected, whoever the candidate was.
"Even if we push the envelope and our vision is brave, we have to be rooted in reality," said Obama. "The average American does not believe that we have to completely demolish and redesign the system."
Obama's comments to the Democracy Alliance in Washington, DC, are due to the large number of candidates in democratic primary education. The former president largely kept silent about the elections and informed the allies that he and his wife had no plans to support anyone because they did not want to influence the elections.
His statements may be seen as an impetus for senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who are committed to a far-reaching and progressive policy aimed at transforming the structure of the country.
"I do not think we should be wrong, resisting certain approaches is only for voters I have not yet heard a bold proposal, and if they hear something as brave as possible it will activate them immediately", he said.
Obama said the candidates should "push ahead" with his success as president, but accepting a message on this will keep them competitive in all parts of the country.
"For those who are stressed out about tough primaries, all I have to do is remind them that I had a very robust elementary school," he told the donors. "I am confident that we will have a tested candidate at the end of the process."