The plan focuses on wages, everyday expenses and job training
"The No. 1 thing that we did wrong is ... we didn't tell people what we stood for," Schumer said
Democrats will soon unveil an economic agenda that leaders hope will bring progressives and moderate Democrats who voted for President Donald Trump together, creating a united front ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
The plan is a three-pronged approach that focuses on improving wages, lowering costs of everyday expenses and boosting job-training opportunities, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday in an interview with ABC’s “This Week.”
Following their party’s devastating presidential loss in November, Democrats have been in a period of soul-searching as they seek a new message and cohesive identity in the Trump era.
“The No. 1 thing that we did wrong is we didn’t have – we didn’t tell people what we stood for,” Schumer said.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows 52% of Americans think Democrats don’t stand for anything other than being against Trump, while 37% say the party “stands for something.”
“They know we’re standing up to Trump,” Schumer said, pointing to the poll. “They like that. But they want to know what do you stand for?”
At a retreat Monday in Virginia, Schumer and other Democratic leaders will unveil more specifics of their plan. For now, Schumer says components include focusing on lowering prescription drug prices, reforming corporate mergers and creating jobs for 10 million Americans.
“A bold, sharp-edged message, platform, policy, that talks about working people and how the system is rigged against them is going to resonate,” he said in the interview. “And this is the first time we’re going to have it, and our party is going to be unified.”
Schumer acknowledged that Trump campaigned on a similar, anti-establishment message but argued he has since abandoned campaign promises in favor of more conservative policies.
Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats to retake the majority in the House. Historic trends of a president’s party losing seats in the midterm elections of a president’s first term coupled with Trump’s low approval rating is giving Democrats hope of hitting that magic number.
The Senate, however, is a more daunting challenge for the party. While Democrats only need a net gain of three seats to win a majority, they’re also defending a whopping 25 seats, 10 of which are in states that Trump won.
More specific proposals will be rolled out in the coming months “that are quite different than the Democratic Party you heard in the past,” Schumer said.
“We were too cautious. We were too namby-pamby,” he added.