President Obama privately told a group of donors at a DNC fundraising event in Austin, Texas, that he thought it was nearing time for Sen. Bernie Sanders to drop out of the presidential race and for the party to come together behind Hillary Clinton, The New York Times reports.
While Obama did not outright call for Sanders to drop out of the race, he reportedly said that a continued battle between the Democrats would only help the Republicans get ahead. Obama also said he knew some were not "excited" by Clinton's candidacy, and acknowledged that she seemed to lack Sanders' "authenticity."
...While [Obama] stressed that he was not endorsing either candidate, and that both would make good presidents, Mr. Obama went on to lavish praise on Mrs. Clinton, describing her as smart, tough and experienced, and said that she would continue the work of his administration. Mr. Sanders has very publicly criticized Mr. Obama on certain policies and has called for a "political revolution."
Mr. Obama said that he understood the appeal to voters of a candidate who is authentic, the official said. But he also reminded the Texas donors in the room that Mr. Bush was considered authentic when he was running for president, suggesting that being authentic did not necessarily translate into being a good president, in his view. [The New York Times]
Sanders' campaign has maintained they are not far enough behind Clinton to give up their bid just yet.