Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle (Penn.) on Monday criticized those on the left who believe Democrats should focus solely on minority and educated white voters during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
New York Times columnist Bret Stephens introduced the topic, saying the Democratic Party does not stand for anything except "hating Trump," and for expressing contempt for ordinary Americans. Stephens referred to the race in Georgia's sixth congressional district, where Democrat Jon Ossoff lost to Republican Karen Handel. Ossoff lost despite a significant financial advantage, and Stephens said the race was indicative of Democrats' image problem with the white working class.
"To average Americans, Democrats stand for the party of contempt. They stand for the party of contempt for ordinary Americans, for their struggles, also, for sort of traditional values," Stephens said.
"Until there is a genuine outreach to a sort of white working-class group of American voters, that's going to be the indelible image of Democrats: a party of Harvard professors, Elizabeth Warrens, who are just hopelessly out of touch," Stephens added.
Boyle granted that writing off white working-class voters is the preference for some on the left, and expressed complete disagreement with it.
"Let me take the last thing you said because there is an element within the movement left that believes that we should just be the party of well-educated whites and racial minorities, and leave blue-collar swaths behind," Boyle said. "I fully, 100 percent reject that view."
He went on to name locations Barack Obama won that fit the demographics some on the left want to ignore.
"I think if you look at Scranton, Luzerne County, Erie in Pennsylvania, places in Michigan and Wisconsin, these are places we would be foolish to write off because Barack Obama carried them twice," Boyle added. "They went for John Kerry, they went for Al Gore."
Boyle described that attitude as both wrong and politically foolish.
"Anyone who says that we should kind of turn the page and reject those voters — first of all, I think it's wrong to begin with, and second, not in our political interest," Boyle said.