Obama Met With Resistance While Trying to Push Agenda
Former President Barack Obama publicly responded to a heckler during a candidate rally in Arizona on Wednesday, using the incident as an example of what he considers to be the country’s increasingly toxic political battlefield.
Obama was speaking to a crowd of about 1,000 Arizona voters in a Phoenix high school gymnasium on Wednesday night, seeking to bolster Democratic candidates Sen. Mark Kelly and Katie Hobbs in their respective midterm races. Kelly is running for reelection in the Senate against Trump-backed Blake Masters, and Hobbs is running for governor, facing off against Kari Lake, who has denied the results of the 2020 election.
“[Republicans want] an economy that’s very good for folks at the very top but not always so good for ordinary people,” Obama said.
“Like you, Obama!” a heckler cried out.
“Are you gonna start yelling?” the former president responded, eliciting boos from the crowd in an attempt to stop the heckler. “Set up your own rally!”
The heckler was later self-identified on Twitter as Drew Hernandez, an online conservative commentator. Hernandez tweeted a video of the exchange, showing him yelling at the former president.
However, Obama used the incident to show how he believes it reflects the current political landscape — comparing the incident to how fringe candidates drown out moderate voices in political discussion.
“This is part of what happens in our politics these days. We get distracted,” he said. “You got one person yelling, and suddenly everybody’s yelling. You get one tweet that’s stupid, and suddenly everybody’s obsessed with the tweet. We can’t fall for that. We have to stay focused.”
Obama’s appearance at the rally comes just days before voters cast their ballots in the state’s consequential elections. The winner of the Senate race is likely to determine which party will gain control of the upper chamber over the next two years, and the next governor will have big implications for how the state will administer the 2024 presidential election.
The former president, who remains a popular figure among Democrats, has been deployed to the campaign trail in recent weeks to boost candidates in a number of elections. Just last week, he appeared alongside Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia before traveling to other battleground states such as Michigan and Wisconsin.
Original Article: WATCH: Obama confronted by heckler during Arizona rally while stumping for Democratic candidates | Washington Examiner
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