Some Dems don't get us: Ex-Obama-turned-Uber aide

Uber needs to do a better job of explaining the benefits of the ride-hailing service to Democratic politicians who run many of America's cities, said David Plouffe, chief advisor and board member at Uber.

Plouffe left politics last year after serving as a senior advisor to President Barack Obama and running Obama's successful 2008 White House campaign.

Many cities around the nation and the world have been resistant to Uber's coming in and disrupting their taxi cab models. Perhaps among the highest-profile critics has been New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who failed to push through City Hall a curb on Uber's growth. Instead he opted for a $2 million traffic study to look into whether for-hire vehicles are clogging city streets.

Still, Plouffe said, "A lot of Democrats get it."

"We're an urban company so we tend to ... deal with a lot of Democrats who are elected officials who have old regulations they're trying to square with this new technology," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday. He said Uber needs to meet with city officials to show them how the service is "revolutionizing how people get around their cities."

But it's not only Democratic mayors who have been critical. In a speech outlining her economic policies back in July, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said: "Many Americans are making extra money renting out spare rooms, designing websites, selling products that they designed themselves at home, or even driving their own car … but as the on-demand economy creates exciting opportunities and unleashes innovation, it's also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future."

Plouffe downplayed the negatives brought up by Clinton, whom he endorsed for his party's nomination in October. "Hillary Clinton did say some positive things. And I expect she'll say more," Plouffe told CNBC. "President Obama spoke to this about a month ago to a conference and spoke to the value of flexible earnings opportunities."

Many critics say Uber drivers should be considered employees, not independent contracts, thus enjoying the benefits and protections that full-time workers enjoy, including Social Security, workers' compensation, and unemployment insurance. That's exactly what the California Labor Commission ruled in June, saying San Francisco-based Uber is "involved in every aspect of the operation." Uber says it's "nothing more than a neutral technology platform."

"Let's compare it to taxi drivers," Plouffe said. "Ninety percent of taxi drivers in the U.S. are independent contractors; 100 percent in Seattle, where I am." He said Uber should be treated no differently.

Plouffe said most Uber drivers work part-time to supplement income from other jobs.

The controversy surrounding Uber doesn't seem to be discouraging investors. Uber is said to be close to raising $2.1 billion in venture capital. The New York Times reported that such a funding round, the single largest to date, would value the world's largest ride-hailing company at $62.5 billion.

Refusing to comment directly on the valuation, Plouffe told CNBC on Friday: "We're thrilled that there's this much investor confidence." He added, "Generally the reason we're growing so fast is the entire for-hire vehicle market is growing."

For example, crosstown San Francisco-based competitor Lyft is in talks to raise a further $500 million in funding, according to the Times.

Meanwhile, some of Uber's largest rivals, including Lyft, announced Friday a global ride-sharing agreement. The companies — also including leading Asian start-ups Didi Kuaidi, GrabTaxi and Ola — said the deal would cover nearly 50 percent of the world's population.

The alliance was forged as Uber committed at least $1 billion to grow in China, while spending heavily elsewhere in Asia.

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— Reuters contributed to this report.