Himes: Fellow Democrat Jokes About How Her Constituents Don't Care About Russia

March 6, 2018

Rep. Jim Himes (D., Conn.) on Tuesday said that Rep. Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.) jokes with him on a weekly basis about her constituents not caring about the investigation into Russian election meddling and potential collusion by the Donald Trump campaign.

Himes appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to discuss multiple issues, including the Russia investigation and whether Democrats are focused on "kitchen table issues," alleviating the economic anxieties American families face.

Washington Post reporter Robert Costa asked Himes why Democrats weren't running their midterm campaigns on the Russia investigation if they believed it is a "serious issue."

"My good friend Cheri Bustos, who represents a very tough district in Illinois—we have sort of a running joke going in the mornings, which is she's got a district very different than mine. I represent Fairfield County, Connecticut. She's in the heartland," Himes said. "She's in a district where we need to figure out how to win again. Every Monday morning when I see Cheri, we come up and there's a little bit of laughter. She says, 'You know what? My constituents still aren't asking me about Russia.'"

Himes then warned that if Democrats don't start focusing on "kitchen table issues" and the anxieties of American families, then they will "pay a cost at the polls."

"But if you can make the case here in Washington, why can't you make the case in her district?" Costa asked.

"I think that's the question that answers itself," Himes said. "A case that is made here inside the Beltway rarely I think has a lot of resonance to middle-class families sitting around in small towns in Ohio and Michigan."

This is not the first time that a Connecticut Democrat has admitted that many voters don't care about the Russia investigation.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell in August that his constituents did not talk about Russia during his 110-mile walking tour across Connecticut.

CNN reporter Maeve Reston said back in January that the news network only seems to talk about the Russia investigation and swing-district voters "don't care" about it.