Murphy: Democratic Focus on Russia Is a ‘Distraction,’ Voters Aren’t Talking About It


Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) said Wednesday that the Democratic Party's fixation on the Russia investigation is a "distraction" and that voters he talks to are concerned about economic issues.

Asked by "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist whether Democrats need to be more progressive or more moderate to be successful in elections, Murphy said his party needs to be "hyper-focused" on an economic message casting Republicans as the party of the rich.

The investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and allegations of collusion by President Donald Trump's campaign with Russia has consumed Washington for months. Washington Post reporter Robert Costa said earlier on the program, however, that one of his takeaways from the Georgia congressional race lost by Democrat Jon Ossoff was suburban Republicans were not talking about the Russia issue.

"I just don't see Russia breaking through yet with Republican voters as an issue that's going to turn them to the left," he said.

Murphy said he agreed with Costa.

"The fact that we have spent so much time talking about Russia has been a distraction from what should be the clear contrast between Democrats and the Trump agenda, which is on economics," Murphy said.

He said when he was back in Connecticut, he will get on a commuter bus at times to talk to citizens about their worries, and Russia is not on their minds.

"They are never talking about issues like Russia. They are not talking, frankly, about what's on cable news at night," he said. "They are talking about the same things, wages. They're talking about education. They're talking about public safety."

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