Democratic presidential candidates have given their reaction to a warning by former President Barack Obama against moving too far left in politics.
Mr Obama's rare intervention into the Democratic race was a talking point at campaign events on Saturday.
Some Democrats called for unity, while others defended their policy agenda.
Nearly 20 candidates remain in the running and there is much debate over the best approach to taking on President Trump next year.
Speaking at a fundraising forum in Washington, the former president – considered a moderate – cautioned candidates against pursuing polices that were not "rooted in reality".
Mr Obama, who was in office from 2009 to 2017, said "ordinary Americans" didn't want to "completely tear down the system".
"This is still a country that is less revolutionary than it is interested in improvement," Mr Obama said to an audience of wealthy donors on Friday.
The remarks represented Mr Obama's most pointed intervention yet in a crowded race featuring 18 candidates.
Former vice-president Joe Biden and senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are leading the pack, but Mr Obama is yet to publicly back a candidate.
How did candidates respond to Mr Obama?
Although none of the Democratic candidates explicitly rebuked Mr Obama's comments, Mr Sanders mounted the strongest defence of his policy platform.
Answering questions on a forum aired by Univision, a Spanish-language TV network, he was asked whether Mr Obama was "right" to say voters didn't want systemic change.
Mr Sanders, who describes himself as a democratic socialist and progressive, laughed and said: "Well, it depends on what you mean by tear down the system."
"The agenda that we have is an agenda supported by the vast majority of working people," he said. "When I talk about raising the minimum wage to a living wage, I'm not tearing down the system. We're fighting for justice."
Elizabeth Warren, another left-leaning frontrunner, struck a more conciliatory tone, choosing to praise Mr Obama's trademark health care policy, the Affordable Care Act.
"I so admire what President Obama did," Ms Warren said at a campaign event in Iowa, the New York Times reported.
"He is the one who led the way on health care and got health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans when nobody thought that was possible."
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said the party ought to be focusing its energy on defeating Republican President Donald Trump, not internal political squabbles.
"Let's stop tearing each other down, let's stop drawing artificial lines," he said.
Unlike Mr Obama, Julián Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, said he was confident any Democratic candidate would beat President Trump, regardless of their political persuasion.
"Their vision for the future of the country is much better and will be more popular than Donald Trump's," Mr Castro, former housing secretary in the Obama administration, said.
Others not involved in the race for the nomination took a more combative approach.
In a tweet, Peter Daou, a former aide to Hillary Clinton, wrote: "Saying 'Americans are moderate than these wild leftists' is basically conceding that the far-right propaganda machine has prevailed."