On Thursday night, Mark Penn former advisor to President Bill Clinton and chief strategist of Hillary Clinton‘s 2008 presidential campaign, defended his op-ed that was published in The New York Times that urged Democrats to move “back to the center.”
In the piece, he and co-author Andrew Stein write:
“The path back to power for the Democratic Party today, as it was in the 1990s, is unquestionably to move to the center and reject the siren calls of the left whose policies and ideas have weakened the party… The last few years of the Obama administration and the 2016 primary season once again created a rush to the left. Identity politics, class warfare and big government all made comebacks….
His piece was slammed on Twitter.
I have tried and failed three times to read that Mark Penn column. He really can’t write.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 6, 2017
This literally reads like Mark Penn dusted off a presentation he gave in 1991, going, “papa needs a new contract!” https://t.co/4uMlfL4VaP
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 6, 2017
you’ve got the uber-left, saying obama was a carbon copy of the gop (wrong) and now here comes mark penn saying he was trotsky (wrong)
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 6, 2017
But thank you, Mark Penn, for giving liberals & leftists something to unite over (that Dems should do none of this): https://t.co/YmdJUDQKNq
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) July 6, 2017
It’s kinda nice to see Hillary and Bernie folks united in our mutual disdain for that shit piece written by Mark Penn. Progress?
— Charles Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) July 6, 2017
Rolling out Mark Penn to voice the last dying screeches of the Clintonite center-left is fitting. Touching, almost. https://t.co/TvpJ48MsoQ
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) July 6, 2017
If you’re looking for a list of bad ideas, today is your lucky day https://t.co/ihRPt8Nima
— Joshua Topolsky (@joshuatopolsky) July 6, 2017
Appearing on Fox News, he claimed that the Democratic Party got “fundamentally repositioned much farther to the left and out of touch with working class voters” and blamed the Bernie Sanders campaign for pushing Hillary Clinton to the left as well.
Dana Perino, who was filling in for Martha MacCallum, asked former Sanders campaign staffer Tezlyn Figaro to weigh in.
“Well, I have breaking news for Mark,” she began. “It’s not the 199os.”
She argued that the Democratic Party isn’t “losing its identity” but the “identity of the messenger.”
When Perino asked Figaro who she thinks is “the messenger,” she shot back at Penn for thinking it “should be people like Hillary Clinton.”
Penn clarified that he wasn’t talking about “going back to the past” but to look at “new issues” like wealth in the tech industry, the opioid crisis, and crime in Chicago.
“The Democratic Party has got to bridge the gap here,” he stated. “Democrats can get back to winning if they combine their zeal and passion for equality with a pro-growth economic policy.”
Watch the clip above, via Fox News.
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