White House Clarifies ‘Provocative’ Obama Comment On Mandatory Voting

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The White House Press is trying to clarify comments made by President Obama in Cleveland yesterday, when he suggested that voting be “mandatory” in the United States.

“Kinda provocative huh?” quipped Earnest when asked about Obama’s comments.

“The president was not putting forward a specific policy proposal,” Earnest said, clarifying that the nature of the president’s comment was part of a broader discussion about campaign finance reform and getting more Americans to vote.

During his speech yesterday, Obama admitted that although he had never said it “publicly” he liked the idea of mandatory voting.

“In Australia, and some other countries, there’s mandatory voting. It would be transformative if everybody voted,” he said. “That would counteract money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.”

Earnest argued that Obama’s answer was “open ended,” and not a specific prescription for the United States.