Former Clinton Adviser: Only Obama Could Have Defeated Trump in 2016

• January 3, 2018 2:14 pm


A former longtime adviser and press secretary to Hillary Clinton told an audience at a Washington Center event on Wednesday that no one except Barack Obama could have beaten Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

During a question-and-answer session, a Harvard University extension student asked Philippe Reines which Democrats could have defeated Trump in 2016.

"Strategically, I don't know. In hindsight, there were some very big problems that would have affected any Democrat," Reines said. "I don't think any Democrat would have beaten Donald Trump aside from President Obama."

"I think one out of every five voters came out and said they voted for Donald Trump, they had voted for Barack Obama in 2012, and they continued to approve of the job Barack Obama was doing last year," Reines added.

Reines went on to say that if Clinton had been replaced by Joe Biden in 2016 as the Democratic presidential nominee, he believes that Biden would have been "bogged down" by Obamacare, trade, and being a Washington insider.

He also said that he does not think Biden would have gotten the same support as Clinton among certain demographic groups.

"Other people would not have gotten what she got, either with specific demographics or subgroups, so the strategic question I think is pretty hard to answer," Reines said.

Reines said that he wishes Biden the best of luck in "knocking Donald Trump out" in a metaphorical manner if he decides to run for president in 2020.

Reines has been an outspoken defender of the Clintons over the years and has already blasted one of Trump's potential Democratic opponents in 2020. Back in November, he castigated Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) after she said that Bill Clinton should have resigned during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"Ken Starr spent $70 million on a consensual blowjob. Senate voted to keep POTUS WJC. But not enough for you @SenGillibrand? Over 20 yrs you took the Clintons' endorsements, money, and seat. Hypocrite. Interesting strategy for 2020 primaries. Best of luck," Reines fired back on Twitter.

Gillibrand was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 presidential bid and has received endorsements and campaign contributions from the Clintons and their allies since she ran for Clinton's old Senate seat.