- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 11, 2016

In his first public comments since Sen. Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire’s Democratic presidential primary, President Obama Thursday attributed the results to voters being “scared” about the economy.

“When people are scared, then strange things can happen in politics,” Mr. Obama said at a Democratic fundraiser in California. “When people are nervous and feel threatened, we can get a politics that is not about bringing people together, but is about ‘us’ and ‘them.’”

Mr. Obama said his observation also applies to the Republican contest, in which businessman Donald Trump won New Hampshire by more than two-to-one over his nearest rival.

The president said despite progress on the economy under his leadership, “people are anxious.” He didn’t mention Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent, by name but seemed to be referring to his anti-Wall Street campaign rhetoric.

“People are deeply concerned about inequality in the sense that the system is rigged against ordinary folks … and they’re not wrong,” Mr. Obama said. “Big money and unaccountable, undisclosed money is distorting out politics in ways that are going to be damaging over the long-term. That disquiet, that concern is expressing itself in the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party, and we need to listen to that, and we have to pay attention, and be mindful.”

The president said it’s still early in the nominations process, and there’s too much media focus on the winners still early states.

“And then, three to four months later, nobody remembers what all the fuss was about because we get down to the real business of electing a president,” he said.

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