President Barack Obama believes he could have won a third term in office, if given the opportunity, telling former adviser David Axelrod that he would have been able to mobilize the majority of voters around his vision for America.
Obama made the comments on Axelrod's podcast "The Axe Files," according to a CNN transcript of the exchange.
"What I would argue is, is that the culture actually did shift, that the majority does buy into the notion of a one America that is tolerant and diverse and open and – and full of energy and dynamism," Obama said. ". . . And the problem is, it doesn't always manifest itself in politics, right? You know, I am confident in this vision because I'm confident that if I — if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it."
"I know that in conversations that I've had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one," he added.
Last week, Vice President Joe Biden told the Los Angeles Times that the Democrats lost the White House because "we didn't talk to" working-class, largely white voters, coming off in campaigns with "a bit of elitism."
"I believe that we were not letting an awful lot of people — high school-educated, mostly Caucasian, but also people of color — know that we understood their problems," he said.
Obama argued in the podcast, though, that the Democratic Party had not left working people behind.
"Here's what I would say prospectively, is that the Democratic agenda is better for all working people," Obama said. "This division that's been put out there between white working class versus black working class or Latino working class – look, an agenda of raising minimum wage, rebuilding our infrastructure, you know."
"Education, family leave, community colleges, making it easier for unions to organize, that's an agenda for working class Americans of all stripes. And we have to talk about it and we have to be present in every community talking about it. See, I think the issue was less that Democrats have somehow abandoned the white working class, I think that's nonsense," the president continued.
President-elect Donald Trump, who beat Hillary Clinton last month in the presidential election, weighed in, saying in a Twitter rebuttal that there was "no way" he would have lost to Obama.
Trump defeated Clinton, whom Obama and first lady Michelle Obama campaigned for, 304 to 227 in the Electoral College, despite Clinton winning the popular vote by more than 2 million, according to CNN.
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