Former President Barack Obama slammed members of the Democratic party for costing them votes by calling for defunding of the police.
Vanity Fair contributor Peter Hamby for his podcast “Good Luck America,” Hamby asked, “If you’re a young activist today and you believe really passionately in a slogan, like Defund the Police, what is your advice to that activist? Knowing that a lot of politicians won’t go near that phrase, even if the nuts and bolts of the idea might be popular.”
Obama answered, “If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it’s not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like ‘Defund the Police,’ but, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done.”
“But if you instead say, Hey, you know what? Let’s reform the police department so that everybody’s being treated fairly. And not just in policing, but in sentencing, how can we divert young people from getting into crime? And if there was a homeless guy, can maybe we send a mental health worker there instead of an armed unit that could end up resulting in a tragedy?”
“You know, suddenly a whole bunch of folks who might not otherwise listen to you are listening to you,” he added. “So the key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with? And if you want to get something done in a democracy, in a country as big and diverse as ours, then you’ve got to be able to meet people where they are.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar lashed out at Obama for calling the “defund the police” movement a “snappy slogan.”
She Tweeted: “We lose people in the hands of police,” “It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety.”
Obama added these thoughts about the party electing a 78-year-old white man as President and keeping Nancy Pelosi (80) as speaker saying: “if the party wants to appeal to young people, it will need to embrace new and younger leadership.”