Former White House Communications Director Jen Psaki cast doubt on Hillary Clinton’s claim she would have been “guaranteed” victory if the election had been held on Oct. 27, during an appearance Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Psaki, who ran the communications shop in former President Barack Obama’s White House, addressed Clinton’s comments made Tuesday during an interview at the Women for Women forum conducted by CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour. In her interview, the former Democratic presidential nominee expressed confidence that she “was on the way to winning when a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28th and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.” Clinton also blamed misogyny for her crushing loss and pledged herself to “the resistance” as an “activist citizen” against President Donald Trump’s administration.
“If we don’t change what we’re doing, if we don’t listen more, we will keep losing.”
“Well, good for [Clinton] for trying to channel her loss into something positive,” Psaki told the rest of the “State of the Union” panel. “I do think if you look at her comments of what she said about it would have been guaranteed she would have won on October 27, we don’t really know that.”
“Was sexism a factor? Yes. Was Comey a factor, was Russia a factor? Absolutely,” Psaki insisted. “But I’ve watched a lot of focus groups. I’ve looked at a lot of polling over the years, and the perception of her was baked into the cake for about 10 years.”
The former Obama official noted that many working-class voters viewed Clinton and the Democratic Party as out-of-touch with their concerns, which led them to cast their votes for Trump and his “America first” policies. If the Democrats want to learn anything from their mass rejection at the hands of the American voters, Psaki recommended that the Party look to the counties that voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 before voting for Trump in 2016.
“I would encourage any Democrat running this year — whether they are a challenger or a vulnerable incumbent — to look at the focus groups that Priorities USA did. They did them in Wisconsin and in Michigan. And they looked at, they talked to Obama/Trump voters,” Psaki said. “And what came out of them, those focus groups, was something very alarming for Democrats, which is the perception that we’re fighting for the rich people, we’re fighting for the one percent. And if we don’t change what we’re doing, if we don’t listen more, we will keep losing.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway noted, in a separate interview on Fox News’ Fox & Friends Weekend, that many members of Clinton’s own Party “are rolling their eyes and bellyaching” about her emergence from her self-imposed exile while wondering, “Why won’t she just go away?”
“I’m kind of getting comfortable and used to it,” Conway said. “If she wants to keep herself out on the national scene, more power to her because it reminds everybody that the left just can’t move on, that they’ve got no bench.”
The more Clinton steps out into the spotlight following the voters’ rejection of her, the more she is aiding the Republican Party, Conway insisted.
“Where are the leaders of the Party? Who are the centrist Democrats who are going to reach out to the same voters that Donald Trump was able to animate and motivate to the polls?” Conway said.
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