Chris Matthews: Democrats Have Moved Too Far Left on Cultural Issues

April 30, 2017

MSNBC host Chris Matthews said the Democratic Party has moved too far to the left on cultural issues during an appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press."

Host Chuck Todd spotlighted Washington Free Beacon editor Matthew Continetti's Friday column about the Democratic Party's struggles in the first 100 days of the Trump administration. Continetti's piece discussed the party's current weak governing position and lack of an agenda beyond opposition to President Trump. It ended by stating:

What the Democratic Party has yet to understand is that its social and cultural agenda is irrelevant or inimical to the material and spiritual well being of their former constituents. And until the Democrats recognize this fact, their next 100 days will be no better than their first.

Todd said he felt Matthews, the longtime liberal host of "Hardball" and a former Democratic aide, would agree with Continetti's sentiment. Matthews pointed to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's shift to the left on abortion rights as something that alienated more moderate voters in states like Pennsylvania.

"A lot of it's cultural, not just economics," Matthews said. "I think that the position Hillary Clinton, for example, took, on abortion, late-term abortions ... get rid of the Hyde Amendment, pushed too far. I think a lot of the people [who] came out and voted in Pennsylvania, where I'm from, were pro-lifers. With all of Trump's problems, morally, personally, whatever, they didn't like Hillary's position. I think the party moved too far to the left on cultural issues."

Democrats are currently in an intra-party debate about their stance on abortion and whether pro-lifers are welcome within the party.

Last week, the Washington Post analyzed the party's "self-inflicted abortion problem" after new party chair Tom Perez stated all Democratic candidates must support abortion rights. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) stated, however, that pro-life voices could be part of the party.

The furor began when left-wing groups expressed fury at Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I., Vt.) endorsement of a Democratic mayoral candidate in Omaha, Nebraska, who had previously backed state bills they called "anti-choice."