Onetime Obama administration officials are not too happy about 2020 Democratic presidential contenders knocking the former president’s legacy in front of the American people this week, and even Barack Obama himself is reportedly miffed at the strategies on display.
What are the details?
During Wednesday night’s debate, a number of candidates piled on former Vice President Joe Biden over an array of Obama-era policies. Everything from the administration’s deportations, trade deals, and even its signature legislation, Obamacare, came under attack as the candidates went after the current front-runner.
Many spectators couldn’t believe their ears, especially former Obama officials.
Late that night, former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, tweeted, “To my fellow Democrats. Be wary of attacking the Obama record. Build on it. Expand it. But there is little to be gained — for you or the party — by attacking a very successful and still popular Democratic President.”
The morning after the debate, former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told CNN the candidates attacking Obama are going about this all wrong.
“Everybody has got to be kidding me here,” the former Chicago mayor told the outlet. “You have a perfect set up. President Trump is suing to undue [Obamacare]. We won an election on it. I don’t get this.”
CNN also reported that President Obama himself “has privately expressed exasperation at some policy proposals and promises that he believes are unrealistic. And he and people around him question the wisdom in assailing the record of a popular ex-president rather than the unpopular-by-comparison current one.”
Democrats outside the Obama administration have voiced frustration with 2020 candidates’ criticisms, too. According to Politico, many are “seething” over the digs aimed at the former president.
According to the outlet, one of their reporters received a cold call after the debates from Henry Crespo, former chairman of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida, who was furious over the attacks on President Obama’s legacy.
“We were sitting here watching this and wondering: ‘What the hell are you doing? What is wrong with our party?'” Crespo told Politico. “It’s like they want to lose.”