Former President Obama suggested Democrats are not as tolerant of ideas they don’t agree with than they did when he was in office.
During an interview with CNN, Obama was asked about how the world will “interpret” former President Trump being federally indicted and how he is still able to run for president.
But Obama expressed his concerns were elsewhere.
“I think I’m more concerned when it comes to the United States with the fact that not just one particular individual is being accused of undermining existing laws, but that more broadly we’ve seen whether it’s through the gerrymandering of districts, whether it’s trying to silence critics through changes in legislative process, whether it’s attempts to intimidate the press, a strand of anti-democratic sentiment that we’ve seen in the United States,” Obama told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.
“It’s something that is right now most prominent in the Republican Party, but I don’t think it’s something that is unique to one party,” Obama continued. “I think there is less tolerance for ideas that don’t suit us. And it’s sort of the habits of a free and open exchange of ideas, and the idea that we all agree to the rules of the game, and even if the outcomes aren’t always the ones we like, we still abide by those rules.
“I think that’s weakened since I left office, and we’re gonna need to strengthen them again,” he added.
This is not the first time Obama has been critical of his own party.
Last year, the former president said Democrats often sound “professorial” and get “too bogged down by policy” to the point of coming off to voters as being a “buzzkill.”
Obama also warned Democrats to not focus so much on Trump.
“We spend enormous amounts of time and energy and resources pointing out the latest crazy thing he said, or how rude or mean some of these Republican candidates behaved,” Obama said, adding “That’s probably not something that in the minds of most voters overrides their basic interests. Can I pay the rent? What are gas prices? How am I dealing with childcare?”