Schumer Dings Clinton: Biggest Mistake Democrats Made in 2016 Was Not Telling People What We Stood For

July 23, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Sunday the biggest mistake the Democrats made in 2016 was not telling people what they stood for, a veiled shot at Hillary Clinton who was often criticized for lacking a clear message.

ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Schumer about a recent poll showing a majority felt Democrats were simply against President Donald Trump in their agenda.

"Why don't Americans know where the Democrats stand and is that your fault?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"Well, it is in part our fault. When you lose an election with someone who has, say, 40 percent popularity, you look in the mirror and say, 'What did we do wrong?'" Schumer said. "The No. 1 thing that we did wrong is we didn't have—we didn't tell people what we stood for."

Schumer said people liked that Democrats are standing up to Trump but wanted to know what their real message was. To that end, Schumer laid out the party's "A Better Deal" agenda, which he says aims to raise wages and create better-paying jobs.

"We're going to give them the tools they need to compete in the 21st century," Schumer said. "What do Democrats stand for? A better deal for working families. Higher wages, less costs, tools for the 21st century."

Stephanopoulos pointed out Democrats controlled the White House for eight years and held majorities in Congress for part of that time.

"What took so long, and why didn't it happen during the campaign?" he asked.

"Well, I don't know why it didn't happen in the campaign," Schumer said. "We all take blame, not any one person."

Schumer promised the party's agenda would both appeal across the spectrum and unify the Democratic Party.

Schumer also took a shot at Clinton in an interview with the Washington Post published Saturday, saying "you blame yourself" when you lose to someone as unpopular as Donald Trump, not James Comey or Russia.

Clinton has pointed to Comey, Russia and other elements outside her campaign as reasons for her surprising defeat in November.