WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has a message for Democrats regarding 2020: chill out.
Speaking at a fundraiser in California, the former president attempted to address anxieties over the crowded field of candidates, saying, “Everyone needs to chill out about the candidates, but gin up about the prospect of rallying behind whoever emerges from this process.”
His comments come days after he advised "politically woke" young people not to be so judgmental, and for Democrats to be "rooted in reality."
"The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it. And I think it’s important for us not to lose sight of that," Obama said last Friday.
His latest message comes one day after 10 Democratic candidates took the stage in Atlanta for the fifth primary debate.
Overall, there are still 17 candidates in the race. Former Massachusetts Governor Patrick Deval made a late entry when he announced last week he was running. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also teased the idea.
Obama continued to warn donors to remember that "flaws are magnified" during primaries and debates. "There will be differences,” among the candidates he reiterated, but that they are "relatively minor" compared to beating Trump.
“The ultimate goal is to defeat a president and a party that has, I think, taken a sharp turn away from a lot of the core traditions and values and institutional commitments that built this country,” he stated.
He continued to note the diversity of the 2020 field of candidates, saying, "We have a number of women candidates, and we have one gay candidate, and those candidates will have barriers if they win the nomination, just like I did," nodding at the fact that he was the first African American to win a major party's nomination, and then later, the presidency.
"The field will narrow and there's going to be one person and if that is not your perfect candidate and there are certain aspects of what they say that you don't agree with and you don't find them completely inspiring the way you'd like, I don't care. The choice is so stark," Obama stated bluntly when comparing the potential candidate against President Donald Trump.
Tickets for the Silicon Valley event, which benefitted the DNC's Democratic Unity Fund, ranged from $10,000 to $355,000, with the highest-paying donors attending a "VIP reception" with Obama. Other attendees for the event included Golden State Warriors player Steph Curry and his wife, actress Ayesha Curry.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Obama: Democrats need to to ‘chill out’ about crowded 2020 field