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Obama: Democrats Need to 'Chill Out' About 2020 Hopefuls

He says differences are 'relatively minor'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2019 1:45 AM CST
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Former President Barack Obama speaks during the Obama Foundation Summit at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago last month.   (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama spoke at a Democratic Unity Fund fundraising event Thursday and, unsurprisingly, called for Democratic unity. The former president said the party needs to "chill out" about the 2020 field and focus on defeating Trump instead of fighting over "relatively minor" differences, CNN reports. "Everybody needs to chill out about the candidates, but gin up about the prospect of rallying behind whoever emerges from this process," the former president told around 100 high-dollar donors at the Silicon Valley event. "The field will narrow and there's going to be one person, and if that is not your perfect candidate and there are certain aspects of what they say that you don't agree with ... I don't care, because the choice is so stark and the stakes are so high," Obama said

Obama has rarely commented on the 2020 candidates, and aides say he won't be doing so again this year, the New York Times reports. He warned against "purity tests" and said Democratic differences were minor relative to the goal of defeating Trump and a Republican Party that has taken "a sharp turn away from a lot of the core traditions and values and institutional commitments that built this country." He spoke in favor of a wealth tax, saying: "That’s one area where I guarantee you where you will get Joe six-pack and the single inner-city mom agreeing. They would like to see a little bigger share of the pie and you know, the rent is too damn high." The top-priced tickets to the event, which raised funds for the general election campaign, went for $355,000. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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