Rep. Seth Moulton (D., Mass.) said Tuesday that Hillary Clinton’s recent inflammatory remarks about Donald Trump voters weren’t helpful for the Democratic Party trying to win back swing districts across the country.
Speaking in India last weekend, Clinton again addressed what she viewed to be the reasons for her defeat at the hands of Trump in 2016, this time hitting Trump’s “backwards campaign” and blasting the states of Middle America for not being “optimistic” and “diverse” like the coastal states she carried:
“If you look at the map of the United States, there’s all that red in the middle where Trump won. I win the coasts,” Clinton said. “I win Illinois, Minnesota, places like that, but what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product, so I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward, and his whole campaign ‘Make America Great Again,’ was looking backwards.”
Clinton then said that Trump’s campaign was about supporters not wanting black people to have rights, women getting jobs, and Indian-Americans being more successful than white Americans.
Axios CEO Jim VandeHei brought up the comments at the conclusion of Moulton’s appearance on “Morning Joe.”
“[She] sort of suggested that people who were not voting for her are backward-looking, and if you go back and look at the quote, you can sort of suggest there’s a dimension of racism to it,” he said. “Does that help the party when you’re trying to win these swing districts, where there’s a lot of people who are uncertain about the direction of the country?”
“No,” Moulton said. “I think of my job as helping the people who need help. I mean, my job is to be representative for my district in Massachusetts, but not just for the people who are doing well. The people who come into my office every day who need help because they’re not getting their veterans’ benefits, they’re not getting their Social Security, or they feel they’ve just been left behind by this rapid economic change sweeping the country.”
Clinton’s comments reminded the Washington Post of her statement in 2016 that half of Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables” because of their various forms of bigotry. She later walked back the statement.