The November election will come down to the debates and the Democrats’ need to focus less on criticizing Republicans and more on what their specific plans are, liberal talk show host Alan Colmes told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
Colmes said the debates in October will be the defining moments of the campaign because that’s when many people start paying attention.
“That is where all eyes will really see the two candidates head to head,” he said. “The debate, the vice presidential debate less-so, but pertinent presidential debates are going to be the defining moments of this campaign. Most people do not start paying attention until around now, the conventions and the actual campaign.”
Colmes, host of radio's “Alan Colmes Show," said, “Republicans certainly get a bit of a bump here, and the Democrats, from my point of view, I am glad they are going last. They will probably get a bump in Charlotte. This could be a nasty campaign; so far I think it has been nastier on the right.
Watch our exclusive interview. Story continues below.
“Honestly, I say that because I see a lot of disinformation out there. Again, another piece of dis-information is that President Obama wants to remove the work requirement for welfare, which is not true. I think that panders to angry white voters.”
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden need to criticize the right less and be specific about their own plans, Colmes said.
“They have to be positive and spend less time knocking the right and have a very positive vision and be very specific about their plan,” he said. “My side, I am a liberal more than a Democrat. I would say Democrats have not done as good of a job as they should on messaging. Republicans are much better at messaging, at keeping it simple and getting their words together and using these great wordsmiths like Frank Luntz, who is a brilliant wordsmith and helps them with their messaging.”
“Democrats would do a much better job getting the message out,” Colmes said. “I think the president and the vice president certainly, with all eyes on them at Charlotte, have to really focus on clearly explaining what happens if Obama stays in office.
"What does it mean in terms of the Affordable Care Act? Even the president has said that he did not do a very good job selling that to the American public. What does it mean for the consumer, the taxpayer? What is it going to cost us? How is our life going to be different with Obama over the next four years versus if Mitt Romney does whatever he might do?”
Colmes said his new book, “Thank the Liberals for Saving America and Why You Should,” despite its title, is not “a hit piece on conservatives,” and instead focuses on what liberals are.
“I know it is a provocative title, but this is not a book that really takes conservatives to task,” he said. “It is more a book about what I think liberals are. What we have accomplished and it is the history of liberalism in America. It is why I think liberals have the right way and it is more of a pro picture.
“I think liberals will get sustenance out of it. They will feel supported by reading it. Conservatives, I think, will read this and feel as though they have a better understanding of the other side.”
He said the United States is a liberal country and the Constitution is a liberal document.
“We live in a liberal country,” he said. “If you came here from…Iraq or Iran, you really would think that we are quite a liberal country. … Liberty and freedom have been embraced by the right as concepts, but the words “liberty” and “liberal” come from the same root word, which is liber, which means to be free.
“The fact is that we are compared to most other places, a very liberal country. We are living out the liberal dream of our founders. The Constitution, the very liberal document — we have gone beyond English common law, which was the basis of law in the West.”
Colmes gave a snapshot analysis of the Republican National Convention.
“I thought Marco Rubio gave a very good speech,” he said. “He was very likeable, I thought Jeb Bush gave a very good speech, and I think they each set themselves up as very good candidates in 2016.
"That being said, I really believe, and it is not just liberals saying this as you have heard conservatives saying this too, the fact-checkers, the fact that Paul Ryan said so many things that are just not true.”
He said of Romney, I have never heard an acceptance speech that was so long on criticism on the other side and so short on vision of what he would do. I thought some of the narrative of Romney was positive, where he spoke about… the movie they played before where Romney helped people at his church.
“I thought he came on as very fatherly, grandfatherly, in some points in his speech. This was his chance to really define himself, what his core values are, and what his vision is for the country. He spent more time criticizing the president than really giving a positive vision of what he can do for America.
“I was quite disappointed in his speech. I do not see this as a liberal partisan, but I do think Rubio and Bush were excellent in terms of their presentations. Clint Eastwood was great, I loved what he did.”
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