“Democrats need a smarter message and a better organization”
- President Obama made his last-ever foreign speech in Lima on Sunday
- Outgoing president said he won’t be last Democrat commander-in-chief
- He reminded world that Republicans aren’t as popular as they might think
- Obama made sure to mention that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote
- Also mentioned that most people agree with Democrats but the party needs to have ‘better organization’ and come up with a smarter message
- He reminded the world that he has been scandal free during both terms and said he liquidated his assets, unlike Trump, but won’t criticize him yet
- Added if the time comes where he must speak out against Trump, he will
- Obama said he plans on taking Michelle on vacation once he’s out of office
President Barack Obama said he’s confident he won’t be the last Democrat to be elected the highest officer in the U.S. in his last-ever foreign address, on Sunday night.
During his final remarks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Lima, Obama said that Republicans aren’t as popular as the world might think – reminding them that Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
As Obama wraps up his presidency and plans for the first few months out of office, he said he knows the majority of Americans agree with many Democratic positions, mentioning a minimum wage increase, gun curbs, and affordable health care.
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President Barack Obama said he’s confident he won’t be the last Democrat to be elected to the highest officer in the U.S. in his last-ever foreign address
On Sunday, he told the world Republicans aren’t as popular as they might think – adding that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote among Americans
The scandal-free president said the majorities of Americans agree with many Democratic positions, mentioning a minimum wage increase, gun curbs, and affordable health care
‘Well, no, I’m not worried about being the last Democratic president, not even for a while.
‘And I’m not saying that trying to be cute. The Democratic nominee won the popular vote,’ he said.
So the party doesn’t need ‘a complete overhaul,’ he said, but better organization and a ‘smarter’ message.
Democrats have to talk to the American people as a whole, and not focus as much on ‘micro-targeting particular, discreet groups,’ he said.
That approach ‘is not going to win you the broad mandate that you need’.
Yet Democrats lost the House in 2010, and the Senate four years later. Republicans also hold a strong advantage in governorships and state legislatures.
Now, he’s planning on leaving America in good condition before taking some much deserved time off.
‘My intention is to, certainly for the next two months, just finish my job. And then after that, to take Michelle on vacation, get some rest, spend time with my girls, and do some writing, do some thinking,’ Obama said.
Obama said that politics in America ‘right now are a little up for grabs’ and Democrats ‘have to do some thinking’ about how they can get their message across to the American people’.
Obama said that politics in America ‘right now are a little up for grabs’ and Democrats ‘have to do some thinking’
Those in the crowd lifted their cell phones high to catch a glimpse of the president giving his last foreign speech
In bringing up his successor Donald Trump, Obama reminded the summit that he hasn’t had any scandals and avoided conflicts of interest during his presidency by liquidating assets that might have raised questions about his policy.
Obama turned his assets into Treasury bills – financial instruments that he joked have not had great yields during his eight years in office.
Obama says his assets were significantly smaller than those of previous presidents and presidents-elect, including Donald Trump.
But he decided that to avoid questions about conflict of interest, it was best not to just meet the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law.
He says he told Trump that he would be well-served by a strong White House counsel who could set rules and boundaries for his team to eliminate ambiguity.
Obama boards Air Force One during his departure at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru, Sunday
Obama turned to wave goodbye during his last major summit as president of the United States
But he says it’s up to Trump to determine how best to deal with his vast business assets.
Trump has recently been criticized for letting his children sit in on meetings with foreign leaders as they now control his businesses and could make decisions for the businesses based on those meetings.
The future president said he would put his assets in a blind trust, but allowing his children to attend meetings is a conflict of interest to those trusts.
However, Obama said that he does not intend to be a constant critic of his successor — but he’s reserving the right to reengage in politics when he’s out of office.
He wants to give the President-elect the opportunity to put forward his platform.
U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during their meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
U.S. President Barack Obama, center, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key, left, and Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrive for the group photo APEC
But Obama also says he will consider whether or not he needs to defend the ‘ideals’ that he cares about as an American citizen.
He added that if the time came for him to speak out against Trump, he would.
Obama said: ‘As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle or go to core questions about our values and ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, I’ll examine it when it come.’
President typically reserve from criticizing their predecessors and step away from electoral politics after their time in office.
Obama said that former President George W. Bush, ‘could not have been more gracious to me when I came in’ and said he wanted to give Trump the same chance to pursue his agenda ‘without somebody popping off’ at every turn.
Before leaving, Obama affirmed the enduring U.S. commitment to Japan in a brief meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
U.S. President Barack Obama, left, talks with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, right, at the opening session of the APEC
Two women react after greeting U.S. President Barack Obama, back to camera, who earlier spoke at a town hall with Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative in Lima, Peru
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with China’s President Xi Jingping during the APEC
A White House official said Obama stressed America’s commitment to Japan, and expressed his gratitude for years of successful cooperation that strengthened the alliance between the two countries.
The meeting follows Abe’s face-to-face session with President-elect Donald Trump in New York on Thursday evening.
Abe was the first foreign leader to meet in’person with the incoming U.S. president.
He later said he was confident that Trump ‘is a trustworthy leader’.
Obama also continued to voice support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Sunday.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall with Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative
Trump has called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade deal negotiated by the Obama administration a ‘job killer’ and a ‘disaster’ pushed by special interests.
In a news conference Sunday at the closing of an economic summit in Peru, Obama said the United States should not retreat from global trade, but seek to ‘do trade right’ so that workers are protected and environmental standards are upheld.
Obama argued it’s time for the U.S. to reaffirm its support for the TPP trade deal. He said other world leaders at the summit made clear they want to move ahead with the agreement, and without the U.S. it will be a weaker deal.
The U.S. would lose an opportunity to shape the rules of global trade ‘in a way that reflects our values,’ Obama said.
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