While trying to strike a diplomatic tone on the contentious 2016 Democratic presidential race, President Barack Obama seemed to hint Friday that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is unlikely to become the party’s nominee.
“Let’s let the process plays itself out,” Obama told a reporter who asked about Sanders’ lower number of delegates during the White House press briefing.
“You mention the delegate math. I think everybody knows what that math is,” he went on. “I think Senator Sanders has done an extraordinary job raising a whole range of issues that’s important to Democratic voters as well as the American people generally. And I know that at some point there is going to be a conversation between Secretary Clinton and Bernie Sanders about how we move towards the convention.”
The president did not express overt support for either candidate, arguing instead that everyone running for the White House seat should be carefully vetted.
“If that happens,” Obama said, “I am confident our democracy will work. That’s true whether we are talking about Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton or Bernie Sanders or anybody else.”
The president praised Sanders and Clinton for the many issues on which they agree, including universal health care, raising the minimum wage and passing comprehensive immigration reform.
He contrasted the relative unity and clearly articulated policy platform of the Democrats with the current fractured state of the Republican Party.
“I think we run on what we are for and not just what we are against,” Obama said. “For the last seven and a half years, we have been clear on what we believe will help working families who are struggling out there.”
“I want Democrats to feel confident about the policy prescriptions that we are putting forward and the contrast, I think, will be pretty clear,” he added.