In the wake of an election in which the Democratic party lost the White House and failed to take the Senate, newly-minted DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison offered some shocking criticism of President Barack Obama‘s tenure as the de facto head of the party.
During an event Wednesday at the University of Minnesota, Ellison was asked by moderator Rachel Stassen-Berger whether he thinks Obama “was responsible for some of the failures of 2016.”
“Yeah, he was,” Ellison said.
Ellison made clear his admiration for Obama’s work as the nation’s chief executive. But as the country’s highest-ranking Democrat, Ellison believes Obama could have accomplished more.
“Barack Obama could have been a better party leader,” Ellison said. “And I think that the fact that he wasn’t has put his legacy in jeopardy.”
Specifically, the new DNC Deputy Chair called Obama out for not campaigning harder during the midterm elections of 2010 and 2014.
“He’s great at getting himself elected,” Ellison said. “But I think he should’ve worked much more closely with [elections for] Congress.”
And ultimately, Ellison thinks that when it comes to the election of President Donald Trump and the Democratic failure to win control of the Senate in 2016, the buck stops with Obama.
“I think that he can’t say that he wasn’t part of those losses,” Ellison said. “I mean, who else. Right?”
Watch the video above (the relevant part starts at 33:48), via University of Minnesota.
[featured image via screengrab]
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