Biden will face ‘devastatingly bad’ midterms if he remains cozied up to left-wing, former Clinton adviser says
Democrats will face a “devastatingly bad” midterm election cycle if President Biden doesn’t shift away from his party’s left-wing flank and its demands, a top adviser to Bill Clinton told Fox News in an interview.
“The Biden administration has been seen as too far to the left, and the Democratic Party has been seen as too far to the left,” Mark Penn said.
“I think unless the Democrats change course here and move more towards the center, these trends indicate a devastatingly bad midterm election for Democrats,” Penn continued.
President Biden with first lady Jill Biden during a visit at Brookland Middle School in northeast Washington, on Sept. 10.
Following Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia and Jack Ciattrelli’s stronger-than-expected showing in the New Jersey gubernatorial contest, progressives and moderates in the Democratic Party immediately started pointing fingers at each other over who was to blame for the outcomes.
Progressive strategists and activists began firing shots at moderates shortly after Youngkin’s victory and said they would stay the course on pushing left-wing policies leading up to the 2022 elections.
Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin speaks during his election night party at a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, Nov. 3, 2021.
(REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst)
To Penn, however, the Virginia and New Jersey races are a sign of things to come if Biden does not distance himself from their policies and demands.
“Even though I think there have been signs for the last couple of months that people see the left of having too much influence in the Democratic Party, the Biden administration has remained on course and hasn’t made any shifts,” Penn said.
The intraparty fighting reached a fever pitch during Biden’s push to get his infrastructure and social spending packages across the finish line.
While the infrastructure package passed with the help of more than a dozen House Republicans, Biden’s social spending package faces a much more uncertain fate as leadership attempts the balancing act of making progressives content while not pushing moderates away from the legislation.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, both Democrats, have also impeded the progressive agenda.
President Biden shields his eyes from the sun as he walks toward Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Penn said it took a midterm shellacking for Clinton to move more toward the center and that he can’t see Biden making the shift unless voters deliver a strong message next year.
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“When I worked with President Clinton, it took the ’94 congressional elections to serve as a wake-up call, and President Clinton moved from – kind of – working with the left, to working with the center,” Penn said.
“I don’t think we’re going to see that come out of president Biden right now, that may – like President Clinton – take a strong message in the midterms for that to happen,” Penn concluded.
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