Obama warns ‘a lot of mischief’ is possible if Republicans win back House
Former President Barack Obama painted a grim picture of the GOP at two fundraisers in California this week, according to excerpts provided to CNN, warning Democrats that Republicans could oversee ‘a lot of mischief’ if they win the House in the November midterm elections.
The speeches, one at a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Wednesday in San Diego and the other for the Democratic National Committee on Thursday in San Francisco, are the latest in a series of fundraisers that Obama made headlines among major Democratic groups as a former president. engages more with mid-term reviews.
« There’s a lot of harm that can be done with a Republican majority in the House, » Obama told donors in San Diego. “So this is not a normal election. The stakes couldn’t be higher. And I hope everyone understands the stakes of this last quarter. I’ll be there to talk about it, and I expect you all to do the same.
With Democrats holding only a slim majority in the House, Republicans are confident they can regain control of the chamber in November, and thus tighten scrutiny of the Biden administration.
Obama has personal experience of this type of change: in the midterm elections, when he was president, the Republicans took control of the House in 2010, then of the Senate four years later.
On Thursday, Obama told DNC donors that « for the past four years our democracy hasn’t worked, » referring to former President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans.
« Not only did it not work, » he said, « but we elected someone who didn’t really believe in it. »
He added: ‘What we’ve seen over the past four years, with a whole bunch of high profile figures in one of our two main political parties, is that they don’t even pretend. Basically what they said is that we fear being a minority party, our ideas don’t sell, but if we can exploit some of the game in the joints of a creaky democracy, if we can work and play with the system enough to exploit its anti-majority tendencies or tendencies, we may just be able to take power, even if we don’t get the most votes, even if we don’t muster the most support from our people, and if we’re ruthless enough about it.
Obama said Thursday that it hadn’t always been a Republican viewpoint – he mentioned that his favorite president, Abraham Lincoln, was a Republican and that « the staunchest segregationists were housed in the Democratic Party. » But Obama said « for now, it’s pretty clear, we have a party that has a fundamentally different vision. »
Although the focus at each event is on midterms, Obama argued in San Francisco that elections in the United States and around the world extend « beyond any particular issue » and are in fact » a contest between those of us who believe in a vision of society in which every individual is treated with equal value and equal dignity » and an opposing side « which has everything to do with tribe and race and sect and power and violence”.
Obama said while this was a « decade-long project » to reverse « economic trends that have helped popularize a more authoritarian view of how society should be structured, » the key in the The interval was to « ensure that the safeguards remain to keep our democracy in place » and to combat the attacks on the electoral process that have occurred in recent years.
« What we’re seeing right now is that what was once kind of a remnant of a poll tax, Jim Crow, voter suppression, which could be overcome, has now escalated into voter cancellation, » Obama said. “That’s basically what ‘Stop the Steal’ is about. That’s what the Republican candidates now profess. … Essentially what they’re saying is, ‘We don’t have to meet the standards we set just to count votes.’
Since the 2020 election, a number of Republican-controlled states have moved to reshape their state electoral systems, moves that have drawn criticism from Democrats.
Chris Hayden, a DCCC spokesperson, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California Rep. Sara Jacobs joined Obama at the fundraiser Wednesday at the home of Jacobs’ grandparents, Joan and Irwin Jacobs. , co-founder of Qualcomm. The event, Hayden said, raised $2.75 million.
A DNC spokesperson said Thursday’s event in San Francisco raised more than $2 million from 60 attendees.
Obama saluted Democrats at both events, saying Wednesday that he « watched with extraordinary pride all the work that has been done to continue the work that we started in 2008. » On Thursday, he said that « a big advantage that we actually have mid-term is the quality of our candidates. »
Obama has now held fundraisers for several major Democratic groups, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in early September and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee in late August.