Tags: Election 2017 | chris coons | democratic | wins | outreach | gop

Sen. Coons: Dem Victories Show GOP Needs to Move 'Towards the Middle'

Sen. Coons: Dem Victories Show GOP Needs to Move 'Towards the Middle'
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 November 2017 08:20 AM

There was a great deal of attention paid to big Democratic wins in Virginia and New Jersey, but there were a series of big wins in several other places, pointing to a need for Republicans to begin "moving towards the middle," and for a need for President Donald Trump to begin more of an outreach to Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Chris Coons said Wednesday.

"In Chester County, Pennsylvania, there has never been a county elected Democrat since the 1700s, and Democrats swept the county offices up for election," the Delaware Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. 

"What does that mean? I think it means members of the House who represent the suburban districts who are Republicans will have to begin moving towards the middle."

Coons said he also believes the election results will point out to Trump and members of his team that "if they don't begin some real outreach to Democrats on tax reform and other priorities, they will not get their legislative agenda through."

"I think the president is throwing a sideways grenade back at [Ed] Gillespie after his loss last night isn't very encouraging for Republicans elected like [Sen.] Susan Collins, who I think will now move forward and say their path towards legislative success will rely on working across the aisle here in Congress rather than counting on President Trump to necessarily lead them forward as a coherent part," the senator added.

Meanwhile, there are several Democrats seeking re-election in states where Trump won in 2016, and Coons said he would advise them to keep their campaigns local and not allow them to become national issues.

"The Democratic senators up for election this time in the five states, you're referencing — states, like Indiana, North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, and West Virginia — are terrific, active, engaged local campaigners; they're very authentic people," Coons said. "They connect well in their home states."

But to win, Coons said, he would advise them against letting their campaign be nationalized or to let it become a matter of Democrats versus Republicans.

"Make it about you, your leadership, and your capability," he said. "These are folks willing to meet with President Trump to consider working with him across the aisle where it makes sense, but they've also stood firm in sticking to core principles on things like defending the Affordable Care Act and access to healthcare in their states."

Meanwhile, Trump called in from his trip to Asia on Tuesday to discuss the pending tax reform legislation with several of his chief advisers and Democratic senators, and Coons said he appreciated the opportunity.

"He touched on a number of different topics, but if there was one theme from our side, it was we should have been included and consulted earlier," said the senator.

"We've got ideas, we want to work across the aisle to strengthen the middle class, to support manufacturing, to make our country more competitive and the folks on the other side of the table, including the president calling in from Asia said, just wait, you will see a different tax bill in the Senate than the House, we're at the beginning of a process, not at the end."

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There was a great deal of attention paid to big Democratic wins in Virginia and New Jersey, but there were a series of big wins in several other places, pointing to a need for Republicans to begin "moving towards the middle"...
chris coons, democratic, wins, outreach, gop
527
2017-20-08
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 08:20 AM
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