President Barack Obama condemned violent protesters who were recorded spitting and throwing punches at supporters after a rally in San Jose and pelting them with eggs, food, and water bottles.
“We saw in San Jose these protesters starting to pelt stuff on Trump supporters,” Obama said. “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 made his remarks during a DNC fundraiser in Miami, Florida on Friday night, criticizing Democrats for imitating the violence under way in the Republican primary process.
“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.
The fundraiser was held at the home of lawyer Robert Rubinstein in Coconut Grove.
Obama explained that he wanted Democrats to focus on making arguments and organizing support for their candidates.
“There’s no room for a politics that fails to at least listen to the other side — even if you vehemently disagree,” he said. “Because I believe if you’ve got the better argument, you don’t need to do that. Just go out there and organize and persuade.”
Obama referred to the “Republican fever” that was blocking any attempt to get government working, but predicted the party’s return to a “sensible, center-right party” that would be willing to work with Democrats.
“Whenever I’m in a town hall or an event and I mention something that I really disagree with on the Republican policy, and people start booing when they hear the word ‘Republican,’ I always say — don’t boo, vote!” he said. “Booing doesn’t do anything. You’re not getting anything done there.