The former president told Vanity Fair contributor Peter Hamby during an interview on the Snapchat “Good Luck America” show, that “there have been times” where the Democratic Party has stuck “so long with the same old folks and don’t make room for new voices.”
He then touched on the Democratic National Convention where Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Democratic socialist, was only given a brief time to speak.
“But, you know, the fact that an AOC only got, what? Three minutes or five minutes?” Obama said.
“When she speaks to a broad section of young people who are interested in what she has to say, even if they don’t agree with everything she says. You give her a platform, just like there may be some other young Democrats who come from more conservative areas who have a different point of view.”
Obama added, “But new blood is always good. And I say that as somebody who used to be the young, shiny cool guy. But now the gray-haired, old grizzled vet.”
After calling socialism a “loaded term for a lot of folks,” Obama noted during the interview that “Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders both agree about raising the minimum wage” and “Joe Biden and AOC think we should do something about climate change.”
“Let’s figure out what are the concrete steps that we can actually take to get that done,” Obama said. “So my advice for the Democratic Party is what I tried to follow in my campaign, which is telling a story. Because people, young people, folks my age, people generally don’t listen to a bunch of policy analysis.”