Democratic strategist James Carville is “scared to death” of the direction his party is headed.
The former Clinton adviser raged against Democrats and urged the need to be “relevant” in the wake of Monday night’s disastrous caucus in Iowa.
“The polling averages have not been very good the last 10 days,” Carville said Tuesday during an appearance on MSNBC. “And I’ve seen some pretty good polls that show enthusiasm among Democrats is not as high as we would like it. So there’s something as people are watching this process that is concerning.”
Carville expressed that it is “not going particularly well” for Democrats as he took aim at 2020 candidates and the leadership of the party, arguing that there is a “moral imperative” right now to beat President Donald Trump in November.
“Why is Tom Perez still the chair of the Democratic National Committee? I have no idea,” he said. “This party needs to wake up and make sure that we talk about things are relevant to people. We need to go back to 2018 where we had good, diverse, strong candidates that had real connections and talked about real things. We don’t need to become the British Labour Party. That’s a bad thing. It’s not going well over there.”
He added that he is “not very impressed” with the Democratic field and pressed the need for the party to focus on what matters to people.
“We don’t win elections because we talk about stuff that is not relevant. We had a great experience in 2018 and the day after, we started all this goofy stuff. So, hopefully, we have time to jerk this thing back and be about healthcare, prescription drug prices, education, infrastructure, climate, diplomacy, rejuvenating whatever it is,” he said.
“But this is not happening so far. We can’t act like this is going well. We can’t come out and put three wonderful talking points. These campaigns have got to be more relevant,” he added, appealing directly to the candidates.
“For God’s sake, Senator Warren, get real out here. Let’s move this thing along,” Carville, who had previously endorsed Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado for president, said.
The best bio I’ve seen in a presidential campaign and she had a very good critique which is that corruption is holding the country back,” he said of the Massachusetts senator. “For some reason, I don’t know why, she decided to chase Bernie’s left tail all over the country and became known for exotic positions, to put it mildly.”
Commenting on 2020 hopeful Joe Biden’s dismal numbers in the Iowa caucuses, Carville noted that “this is just not the time” for the former vice president. He also acknowledged that he would have to “get behind” Sen. Bernie Sanders if he got the nomination.
“I have no choice,” Carville said. “But look at the British Labour Party. We’re like talking about people voting from jail cells. We’re talking about not having a border. I mean, come on, people.”
“You’re saying you’re concerned that you consider Bernie Sanders for open borders and for incarcerated people voting?” MSNBC host Ari Melber asked.
“He says he is,” Carville replied. “He said we should give people a ticket. Alright. I’m just saying what he said.”
“Of course I would vote for him,” he added. “But I don’t want the Democratic Party of the United States to be the Labour Party of the United Kingdom.”
Carville went on to stress the importance of Democrats taking back power in Washington.
“It matters who the candidate is, it matters what a party chooses to talk about!” he exclaimed. “I’m 75 years old. Why am I here doing this? Because I am scared to death, that’s why. Let’s get relevant here, people, for sure.”
“We’ve got to decide what we want to be. Do we want to be an ideological cult? Or do we want to have a majoritarian instinct to be a majority party?” Carville continued. “What we need is power, you understand? That’s what this is about. Without power, you have nothing. You just have talking points.”
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