In an interview with the Washington Post, Chuck Schumer changed his tune on Hillary Clinton, blaming her and her messaging for losing the 2016 presidential election.
The Senate Minority leader spoke with TWP's Ed O'Keefe and David Weigel about several topics over the weekend, covering the future of the Democrats and their new economic messaging.
What has been getting people more fired up are his words on Clinton.
"When you lose to somebody who has 40% popularity, you don't blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself," Schumer told TWP. "So what did we do wrong? People didn't know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that."
This marks a stark change in how the Democrats view Clinton's loss and more specifically a change in Schumer's usual loyalty to her. For a long time, Clinton has asserted her loss was not the fault of her own, but rather a combined effort of other factors that all contributed to giving Donald Trump the presidency.
CNN's Chris Cillizza outlined Clinton's scapegoats in a piece out Monday.
He wrote, "Remember that Clinton has laid her defeat in the 2016 election directly at the feet of Russia's meddling -- via a series of hacked emails -- and then-FBI Director James Comey's decision to re-open the investigation into Clinton's private email server."
Clinton herself shrugged off responsibility while speaking with Recode's Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg earlier this year, saying, "I take responsibility for every decision I make -- but that's not why I lost." She also repeated that message when speaking with CNN's Christine Amanpour a month earlier. In her interview with Amanpour, Clinton said, "I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off."
Clinton has also claimed misogyny among other things as the culprits of her political demise.
This is what makes Schumer's remarks so intriguing. It is a direct step in the opposite direction of the Democratic narrative post-election It is also important to note the change in messaging from the Democrats, who previously toted the vague and unappealing "Stronger Together" message Clinton was so fond of. The "I'm not Donald Trump" move hasn't panned out for the Democrats, with many people believing that they only stand for defying the president.
It seems Schumer is banking on the success of his party's new economic messaging and their now growing distance from Clinton and her narratives. The 2018 midterms are quickly approaching and the Democrats are trying something new, but the time it took to get here and the lukewarm approach to addressing the serious economic woes of the American people shows that they still don't understand how to win.
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