The White House has officially announced that President Barack Obama will not be endorsing a Democratic primary candidate for the upcoming 2016 election. Instead, the administration says that Obama will wait until the primary winner is decided by the people and then will support the chosen candidate.
Reuters reports that President Barack Obama will not publicly endorse a presidential candidate until after the primary elections are over. Obama has decided to wait until the primaries are over to support whichever candidate wins. However, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told Meet the Press on Sunday that after the primaries are over, Obama will do what has been done in the past and be out there campaigning with the democratic candidate.
Obama will not endorse a candidate in 2016 Democratic presidential race: White House https://t.co/GfY4AaFg7a
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 10, 2016
According to Fox News, Obama is steering clear of the democratic primaries because he does not feel it is his “job.” Instead, McDonough says that picking a nominee for the 2016 presidential race is up to the party.
“That’s not our job. That’s the job of the party to make those decisions and then they’ll take a look at the agendas and the positions of those candidates.”
However, McDonough says that once the Democratic candidate has been selected, Obama will be out there campaigning right next to them like it has been done in the past.
“When the nominee will be set, then the president will be out there.”
Fox points out that Obama’s decision to not endorse a candidate seems to fall in line with man two-term presidents. It was noted that George W. Bush didn’t endorse his party’s nominee in 2008 until March 5. At this point in the race, Senator John McCain was so far ahead that he had almost certainly locked in the bid as Republican nominee. Same holds true for Ronald Reagan who didn’t endorse his sitting Vice President, George H. W. Bush, as the Republican nominee until May 1988 as “Reagan said he wanted to wait until the outcome of the nomination race was clear.”
— ABC News (@abcnews) January 10, 2016
The only recent two-term president to break this precedent in the past 30 years was former President Bill Clinton. Instead, Clinton stepped forward and endorsed his Vice President Al Gore in December of 1999 ahead of the 2000 elections.
Prior to the White House clarifying that Obama would not endorse any of the Democratic presidential nominees until after the primaries, some had speculated that Obama would step up and endorse Hillary Clinton due to her gun control stance. In fact, on Meet the Press, Chuck Todd pointed out that Obama could use the opportunity to push for Hillary and her firmer stance on guns. It is noted that Clinton is a strong supporter of stronger gun control measures in the United States, whereas Bernie Sanders has stated is is for a pro-gun state.
Though Obama is refusing to endorse a candidate, members of Obama’s cabinet are stepping forward to support Hillary Clinton in her presidential run. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stepped out as the fourth Obama cabinet member to publicly support Clinton during a campaign in Iowa.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 11, 2016
What do you think about President Barack Obama not endorsing a candidate until after the primary election is over? Should presidents hold off on endorsing candidates until the race is narrowed down, or as current sitting president should they be able to voice their opinion as to who they believe would be best to fill their place?
[Image via AP Photo/John Locher]