President Obama urged Democrats to avoid violent confrontations with supporters of likely Republican nominee Donald J. Trump on Friday after Trump backers were attacked in San Jose, Calif.
“It is very important for us to remind ourselves of who we are and what is best about American democracy and not slip into some of the bad habits that currently manifest themselves in the other party,” Obama said at Democratic National Convention fundraiser in Miami.
Protesters jumped on cars, pelted Trump supporters with eggs and water balloons, snatched signs and stole “Make America Great Again” hats off supporters’ heads before burning the hats and snapping selfies with the charred remains.
“We saw in San Jose these protesters starting to pelt stuff and Trump supporters. That’s not what our democracy is about. That’s not what you do. There’s no room for violence. There’s no place for shouting,” Obama said. “There’s no room for a politics that fails to at least listen to the other side — even if you vehemently disagree. Because I believe if you’ve got the better argument, then you don’t need to do that. Just go out there and organize and persuade.”
Before he departed the fundraiser, Obama got in a couple of digs at Republicans. The president said that he hoped “the Republican fever” would someday break and it would be “once again a sensible center-right party” with whom Democrats could negotiate.
“But that doesn’t happen if we start digging into absolutist positions and aren’t willing to compromise and are resorting to some of the same kinds of tactics they’ve been engaging in for quite some time,” he said.
The president also praised Rep Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chairwoman, after Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his support for Tim Canova, a former Capitol Hill staffer who is challenging her in the primary for her House seat.
“She’s had my back, I want to make sure we have her back,” Obama said of Wasserman Schultz at the fundraiser.