Democrats are begging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to stop suggesting that only the most forward-thinking people voted for her failed presidential campaign.
Some of the staunchest Clinton allies believe her decision to dredge up her “basket of deplorables” comments from the 2016 election Tuesday were cringe-worthy and ultimately detrimental to Democrats. Others want her to stifle her theories until after the mid-term elections conclude.
“She put herself in a position where [Democrats] from states that Trump won will have to distance themselves from her even more,” one former senior Clinton aide told The Hill Wednesday, referring to the failed presidential candidate’s comments in India trashing voters in Pennsylvania. “That’s a lot of states.”
“So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward,” Clinton said, referring to the coastal, densely populated regions of the country that voted for her campaign. She famously lost to President Donald Trump in the crucial, historically Democratic-leaning states of Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
“And [Trump’s] whole campaign — ‘Make America Great Again’ — was looking backward. You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights; you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs; you don’t want to, you know, see that Indian–American succeeding more than you are — you know, whatever your problem is, I’m gonna solve it,” she added.
She also insinuated that women who voted for Trump were motivated by “ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should.” Research on political identification show that married couples tend to evolve into the same political party due to shared economic and social concerns.
Another surrogate questioned the decision-making behind Clinton’s remarks. Democrats have been arguing for several months that her sentiments have been counterproductive to the party’s rebuilding efforts — the party is working overtime to rebuild the blue wall throughout the Rust Belt that Democrats relied on to win elections.
Other members of Clinton’s inner circle have acknowledged why she lost. Philippe Reines, one of the Clinton campaign’s chief lieutenants in 2016, for instance, said earlier this month that he understands “why that man (Trump) won in 2016.”
“And I understand — I’m not terrified — but I understand why he may win again in 2020,” Reines said Saturday after the president stumped for Republican House candidate Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania.