Hillary Clinton suggests The Squad and progressive Democrats could SINK the party in 2022 midterms because voters want a Congress that can ‘get things done’
- Hillary Clinton said Democrats needed to think about ‘what wins elections’
- To hold the House and Senate they will have to win in purple states, she said
- Just winning in liberal, blue states will not be enough, she added
- Her comments will be seen as criticism of her party’s progressive wing
Hillary Clinton has warned the Democratic Party it needs to be ‘clear eyed’ about what wins elections – a tacit warning that its progressive wing risks handing midterm victories to the Republican Party.
The former presidential candidate told MSNBC’s Willie Geist that Democrats needed candidates who could win in purple states if it was to have a Congress that will ‘get things done.’
Her comments reflect divisions in both parties, as centrists grapple with fringes that offer ideological purity and headline generating Twitter accounts.
For Democrats, that means the so-called Squad of progressives – including the likes of Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.
‘I think that it is a time for some careful thinking about what wins elections, and not just in deep blue districts where a democrat and a liberal Democrat or so-called progressive Democrat is going to win,’ said Clinton.
She made her comments in an interview earlier this month, which was broadcast in part on Thursday.
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took a tacit swipe at the progressive wing of her own party, but saying Democrats needed to be ‘clear eyed’ about how to hold the House and the Senate in 2022’s midterm elections
The Squad is a six-strong group of U.S. Representatives on the most progressive wing of the Democratic Party, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (left) and Ilhan Omar
In a discussion of the state of the Democratic Party, she said: ‘We’ve got to be very clear eyed about what it’s going to take to hold the House and the Senate in 2022. And to win the electoral college because also Republicans are doing everything they can to create an environment in which winning the Electoral College, even narrowly the way Joe Biden did will be out of reach for Democrats.’
She added that she understood why politicians would want to argue for their own priorities.
‘But at the end of the day, nothing is going to get done if you don’t have a Democratic majority in the House, in the Senate, and our majority comes from people who win in much more difficult districts and our majority in the Senate comes from people who can win in not just blue states and hold those wins … but can win in more purpleish states,’ she said.
Her words came soon after the party’s defeat in Virginia’s gubernatorial election and as the party prepares for a backlash against President Biden in next year’s midterms.
She said she was in favor of a vigorous debate about how to move forward.
‘But at the end of the day, it means nothing. If we don’t have a Congress that will get things done and we don’t have a White House that we can count on to be sane and sober and stable and productive,’ she continued.
‘So this is going to be a very intense period, not just for the Democratic Party, but for the country.’
Her comments put her odds with the progressive wing of her own party, which has at times opposed President Biden.
So although his administration hails a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill as among its biggest achievements, the likes of Omar opposed its progress unless it was accompanied by a far bigger social spending program.
‘I made a promise to my constituents that I would not vote for the infrastructure alone, unless the two bills were being passed together and were going to get signed together,’ she said in a recent interview with Minnesota’s Star Tribune newspaper.
She accused her own party leadership of timidity.
‘Democrats sometimes tend to be afraid of their own shadow and their own power,’ she said. ‘So that’s been a little frustrating.’
The high profile of the Squad offers an easy target to Republicans.
In an end-of-year statement, former President Trump said they were running the administration.
‘Biden has systematically dismantled the foundations of american energy independence to satisfy AOC, Ilhan Omar, and the other extremists calling the shots in the Democrat Party,’ he claimed.
But the tensions are echoed in the Republican Party.
The likes of Rep. Adam Kinzinger – hated by much of Trump world for joining the Jan. 6 House investigation – have accused senior party figures of pandering to an extremist wing of the party at the expense of more mainstream voices.
‘These aren’t the ones that you know, tweet all the time,’ he told MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ program earlier this month.
‘They’re not the ones that are going to you know, talk about Jewish space lasers and make, you know, crazy racist jokes just so that they can get more Twitter followers because they don’t take governance seriously.
‘These are actually members of Congress that take governance seriously.’
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