It seems that President Obama is taking “some of the responsibility” for Democrats losing the majority of races at the federal and state level during his time in the oval office.
In a wide-ranging interview, Obama told NRP’s Steve Inskeep, “And I take some responsibility for that.”
Failing to be there and hear the people across the electorate was a concern Inskeep asked Obama about. In 2008 and 2912, Obama had attributed his success to this.
Inkeep asked, “Were Democrats failing to do that at every level because your party has lost the majority of races at almost every level at this point?”
Obama’s answer to that was that his campaign was “putting out fires” when he came into office and that they were not able to help any congressional candidates.
Obama said, before going into what he plans on doing after leaving the White House. “You know, when I came into office, um, you know, we were just putting out fires. We were in a huge crisis situation,” Obama said. “And so a lot of the organizing work that we did during the campaign, we started to see right away didn’t immediately translate to, wasn’t immediately transferable to, congressional candidates.”
“And more work would have needed to be done to just build up that structure and, you know, one of the big suggestions that I have for Democrats as I leave, and something that, you know, I have some ideas about is, how do we do more of that ground up building?”
Democrats have lost more than 900 seats in state legislatures, 69 seats in the House of Representatives, 13 Senate seats and 12 governorship’s under Obama.
Obama said, “Well, you know, I think that we haven’t done it as well as we need to. For example, we know that the Republicans, funded through organizations like the Koch brothers, have been very systematic at…” Obama said.
“Building from the ground up and communicating to state legislators and financing school board races and public utility commission races, and, you know, I am a proud Democrat, but I do think that we have a bias towards national issues and international issues, and as a consequence I think we’ve ceded too much territory.”
Obama explained that Republican-Aligned groups were better mobilized to win elections at the state and local level than Democrats were.