The Democratic party’s choice to provide Tuesday’s rebuttal to President Trump’s congressional speech was “a mistake,” Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said Wednesday.
“I don’t mind saying when we make mistakes, and that was a mistake,” the Democrat said when asked in an interview on MSNBC about the decision to have former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear respond to Trump’s speech.
Beshear’s rebuttal was widely criticized, because of both the awkward staging — MSNBC host Craig Melvin said his rebuttal looked like a “hostage video” — and the fact that Beshear, a 72-year-old white man, is not in the Democratic Party’s target demographic. (RELATED: Separated At Birth: Democratic Response And Heaven’s Gate Cult Leader)
Cleaver was unrelenting in his party leadership’s decision to pick Beshear.
“The problem is you asking about thinking, and that didn’t happen,” Cleaver told Melvin of the decision.
While praising Beshear’s work in Kentucky, Cleaver, the former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said he would have preferred to see a young minority give the rebuttal.
“I just left a meeting where we were discussing the fact that we think we’re going to have a problem if we don’t start presenting a image of the millennials,” said Cleaver.
Asked who in the Democratic party chose Beshear, Cleaver said he was not sure.
“I would imagine the leadership of the House and the Senate; we didn’t have anything to do with it,” he said.