Obama issues warning to Democratic presidential candidates

epaselect epa05631692 US President Barack Obama responds to a question from the news media during a press conference in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 14 November 2016. EPA/SHAWN THEW

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Former US President Barack Obama has issued a warning to Democratic presidential candidates, cautioning them against policies that are not “rooted in reality”.

The former President said Democrats risked alienating voters if they lurched too far to the left politically.

Obama, speaking at a fundraising event, said most voters didn’t want to “tear down the system”.

At the event held in Washington on Friday, Mr 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, Mr 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 Mr Obama’s most pointed interventions in the race so far.

Mr Obama is yet to publicly back a Democratic candidate.

The field is crowded, with 18 Democrats vying for the nomination to take on Republican President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.


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