Politics

Sherrod Brown Says GOP Has ‘Prospered’ by Appealing to ‘Prejudices and Fears,’ Cites Cheney Biopic ‘Vice’ as Proof

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) said Tuesday that the Republican Party has "prospered" by appealing to people's fears and cited Vice, a biopic about former vice president Dick Cheney, as proof.

Brown took the opportunity to criticize Republicans while he attended a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

Jessica Wehrman, a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, pointed out that the Republican Party's crowded primary field in 2016 produced Donald Trump, and she asked Brown if he was concerned about a similarly crowded field of Democratic candidates.

"No, because we don't have people that appeal to racism and bigotry and people's prejudices and fears," Brown responded. "I mean Republicans have prospered as a party that has appealed to fear for years. Go watch Vice — I think it's Vice, is that the name of the movie, the Adam McKay movie about Cheney? Is it Vice, yeah?"

"The appeals to fear are always sort of the man behind the screen, or now the man in front of the screen, in Republican Party politics. So because we don't have candidates that do that and we don't have a recent party history of doing that, we will not produce anybody like Donald Trump from a crowded primary field," Brown continued.

Critics and former George W. Bush administration officials have raised questions about the film's accuracy. The film received a rating of 66 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Washington Free Beacon executive editor Sonny Bunch called it "the movie our country needs right now" because of the film's unintentionally positive portrayal of the former vice president. "One gets the sense that writer/director Adam McKay intended Vice as a damning critique of the Republican Party's Darth Vader. If that's the case, he's badly missed the mark," Bunch wrote.

Brown is touring early primary states as he considers whether to run for president. Should he decide to run, the Ohio Democrat will join fellow Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) in an increasingly crowded field.