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Jake Tapper slams Obamas for attending concerts while Democrats are struggling
CNN's Jake Tapper criticized former President Barack Obama for attending a Jay-Z and Beyonce concert while the Democratic Party is weak. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Jake Tapper slams Obamas for attending concerts while Democrats are struggling

CNN's Jake Tapper ruffled some liberal feathers on Twitter on Sunday with a post appearing to take a shot at former President Barack Obama for taking part in leisure activities with the Democratic Party in dire need of a boost.

Tapper was responding to a tweet posted by HuffPost Politics that linked to an article about Barack and Michelle Obama being spotted dancing at a Jay-Z and Beyonce concert.

"The Democratic Party is the weakest it has been since the 1920s, but ¯\_(�)_/¯," Tapper tweeted, including a symbol indicating a shrugging of shoulders.


What did Tapper mean?

The tweet was liked and retweeted thousands of times, and many users took offense to Tapper's implication that Obama wasn't fulfilling his responsibility to help the Democratic Party as midterm elections approach.

Tapper attempted to clarify his meaning in a response to economist David Rothschild, who expressed confusion about Tapper's point.

"Glad he's enjoying his life; he's entitled," Tapper wrote. "Also, FYI, as we begin to focus on Nov. 2018 and 2020, he presided over a historically precipitous decline of his party. Just a factual matter. Some Dems seem angrier at my tweet than at that fact. ¯\_(�)_/¯"

How weak is the Democratic Party?

Tapper's statement about the health of the Democratic Party comes from something his CNN colleague Fareed Zakaria said last month.

"When you tally up their representation in Congress, state legislatures and governorships, the Democrats almost have their lowest representation in about 100 years," Zakaria said.

Politifact rated Zakaria's claim as being "true," and noted that the party saw an unusually large decline in power during Obama's presidency, although it wasn't totally unprecedented:

"Since World War II, no two-term president (or presidential tag team) has ever gained Senate seats, House seats, governorships, or state legislative chambers over an eight-year period. Rather, every single presidency has suffered substantial losses in each of those categories over the past seven decades. There has literally been no upside in down-ballot races for presidents as far back as Franklin D. Roosevelt."

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