As the Democratic Party continues to grapple with the inescapable reality of crushing 2016 electoral defeats, former President Carter has one request: don’t ignore white American workers.
Throughout her presidential campaign, former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton kept intensely focused on wooing women, the LGBT community, and several minority groups. But Carter contends Clinton lost so badly because she failed to talk to white, working-class people.
“And I kept waiting for Mrs. Clinton to say, ‘I’m for you, white workers, too!'”
“In the 2016 election alone, the working-class people built the election,” Carter said during a sermon delivered at a church service in Georgia Sunday. “And I kept waiting for Mrs. Clinton to say, ‘I’m for you, white workers, too!'”
But Clinton didn’t express that at all, as Carter lamented in the sermon aired on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday.
“But [Clinton] hasn’t talked to them in ages and went after Americans who were Hispanic and women and so forth,” Carter continued. “She never administered to white men.”
If the Democratic Party truly wants to remain relevant and regroup itself, Carter recommended different tactics that would reach beyond identity politics and expand the Democrats’ national appeal.
Just one day after the Democratic National Committee elected former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to serve as chair, Carter revealed a piece of advice he had given to the Democratic Establishment darling.
“And so, I told Tom Perez, prior, ‘If you are elected chairman, you need to talk to white men too because we vote!'” Carter said. “In Georgia and Montana and in Pennsylvania, the Democrats who voted Democratic voted Republican because they felt neglected.”
Perez’s victory against Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) Saturday was viewed skeptically by many in the party’s left-wing base.
“At a time when Republicans control the White House, the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and two-thirds of all statehouses, it is imperative that Tom understands that the same-old, same-old is not working and that we must open the doors of the party to working people and to young people in a way that has never been done before,” former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement after the DNC vote.