US President Obama warns Democrats against being overconfident over Hillary Clinton victory

President Barack Obama urged Democrats on August 15 not to grow too confident about their prospects in the 2016 election despite Mrs Hillary Clinton's strong position in the race for the White House.
President Barack Obama urged Democrats on August 15 not to grow too confident about their prospects in the 2016 election despite Mrs Hillary Clinton's strong position in the race for the White House. PHOTO: REUTERS

CHILMARK, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Declaring he was tired of talking about billionaire Donald Trump, President Barack Obama urged Democrats on Monday (Aug 15) not to grow too confident about their prospects in the 2016 election despite Mrs Hillary Clinton's strong position in the race for the White House.

Mr Obama, who is on a two-week vacation in Martha's Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, took a short break from his relaxation time to raise money for Mrs Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee he hopes will succeed him when he leaves office in January.

Mrs Clinton leads Mr Trump in opinion polls, and the Republican nominee's campaign has suffered following remarks he made denigrating the parents of a fallen Muslim American soldier and charging that Mr Obama was the founder of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

The President warned his party, however, to maintain a sense of urgency until the Nov 8 election. "If we are not running scared until the day after the election, we are going to be making a grave mistake," Mr Obama told some 60 donors who contributed US$10,000 each to attend the fundraiser at a private home on the island.

"If we do our job, then Hillary will be elected president of the United States. But if we do not do our jobs, then it's still possible for her to lose."

The remarks could foreshadow the President's role this fall in encouraging get-out-the-vote efforts for Mrs Clinton, his former secretary of state.

Mr Obama has made clear his disdain for Mr Trump, calling him unqualified for the White House. He told the donors he was tired of talking about Mrs Clinton's rival.

"I don't have to make the case against her opponent, because every time he talks he makes the case against his own candidacy," Mr Obama said.

The President is expected to campaign heavily for Mrs Clinton in October.