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Durbin: If Democrats ‘Overdo It’ by Being too Liberal, We Can Lose to Trump

Senator Dick Durbin / Getty Images
Senator Dick Durbin / Getty Images
• October 16, 2017 12:19 pm

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) said in a radio interview on Sunday that Democrats can lose to President Donald Trump in 2020 if they "overdo it" by becoming too liberal.

Durbin was asked on a local Chicago radio program about comments from Rep. Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.), who warned fellow Democrats that Trump would be reelected if the party becomes too liberal.

CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski was first to report on Durbin's comments.

"We need to be balanced," Durbin said on "Connected to Chicago" on WLS-AM. "She's right about that. And as downstater like her, I understand she represents a challenging district. We don't give up on our values, but we better be sensitive too that there are people with more moderate views, and people who may disagree with some parts of the Democratic platform as they as they are presented. We've got to be open to that possibility."

The radio host asked if Democrats could lose by "being too liberal."

"You can," Durbin said. "I think you can overdo it. We have to really appeal to that sensible center. It's a thin stripe now. It used to be a lot wider stripe, but it's an important and determining factor in most elections."

The number two Democrat in the Senate warned fellow Democrats not to underestimate Trump like they did in 2016.

Durbin's comments came about six months after he said on CNN that the Democratic Party is only for individuals who support the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade abortion decision as a matter of policy.

"We need to be understanding of those who take a different position, because of personal conscience, but as long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe v. Wade, prepared to back women's rights as we've defined them under the law, then I think they can be part of the party," he said in April.

More recently, Durbin questioned the faith of federal judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, during her confirmation hearing, asking if she considers herself an "orthodox Catholic."