President Barack Obama appeared to offer a rebuke of Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy after Democratic losses in last week’s elections.
In a press conference on Monday, Obama didn’t mention Clinton, but as he answered a question at a news conference on Monday, it appeared that he would do things differently.
Obama touted his presidential campaign’s successes in Iowa, a critical swing state that President-elect Donald Trump won.
“We have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere. We have to compete on a grassroots level,” Obama said of Democrats.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 14, 2016
“I won Iowa not because the demographics predicted I would win Iowa,” he said, adding that “I spent 87 days going to every small town, fair, fish fry and VFW hall.”
Critics on both the left and right have said that Clinton didn’t make enough public appearances or had enough press conferences.
She lost Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan—which Obama had won at least once.
Trump, Obama noted, “was able to tap into, yes, the anxieties, but also the enthusiasm of his voters in a way that was impressive, and I said so to him.”
“I think he’s pragmatic,” Obama said of the president-elect. “That can serve him well, as long as he has good people around him and has a clear sense of direction.”
The president is now tasked with overseeing a transfer to Trump’s administration before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, 2017.
“This office is bigger than any one person, and that’s why ensuring a smooth transition is so important,” Obama said.
Meanwhile, he added that the United States would maintain its commitment to NATO, which Trump had questioned. “This office has a way of waking you up. Campaigning is different from governing. I think he recognizes that,” the president said.