December 19, 2016
President Obama is blaming his party’s electoral losses this year on Democrats’ failure to “show up” and make their argument all around the country.
In an interview with NPR broadcast Monday, the president said the country has a “scrambled political landscape.”
“There are some things that we know are a challenge for Democrats — structural problems,” he said.
Obama noted that Democrat voters are often clustered in urban areas and on the coasts.
“So as a consequence, you’ve got a situation where there’re not only entire states but also big chunks of states where, if we’re not showing up, if we’re not in there making an argument, then we’re going to lose,” he said.
“And we can lose badly, and that’s what happened in this election.”
Obama said he doesn’t think the Democrat Party’s problem is its core argument. The values presented by the Democratic Party have strong support, he said, citing the minimum wage.
“There are clearly, though, failures on our part to give people in rural areas or in exurban areas a sense day-to-day that we’re fighting for them or connected to them,” he said.
“Some of it is the prism through which they’re seeing the political debate take place.”
A lot of people, he added, don’t know about the Obama administration’s push for collective bargaining or overtime rules and are not aware of all the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
“So part of the reason it’s important to show up, and when I say show up, I don’t just mean during election time, but to be in there engaging and listening and being with people,” he said, “is because it then builds trust and it gives you a better sense of how should you talk about issues in a way that feel salient and feel meaningful to people.”