An outgoing Nebraska Congressman, the only Democrat in the Nebraska Congressional delegation, reflects on politics and the future of his party.
Congressman Brad Ashford lost in a close race to Republican Don Bacon and says the Democratic Party must reconnect with what once was its core.
“Well, I think that it is clear to me that the Democrats must do a much better job of messaging to the needs of working-class Americans,” Ashford tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Ashford was projected by many political pundits to win re-election. It is only conjecture to suggest Ashford was swept out of office by the turning of the tide of public opinion against Democrats in Middle America, but it certainly didn’t help.
Ashford defends House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who his opponent characterized as a San Francisco liberal. Ashford notes Pelosi is a friend of Omaha investor Warren Buffett and played a key role in helping the University of Nebraska Medical Center land its infectious disease unit. He says she has been unfairly blamed for Democratic losses in November.
Democrats need to reach out to American workers, according to Ashford, by owning up to problems with President Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
“We need to acknowledge much more clearly the fact that the Affordable Care Act is not affordable for many, many Americans,” Ashford says. “So, we have to dig in there and make the changes necessary to make the Affordable Care Act work.”
Ashford says American families face very real problems and the Democratic Party must clarify its message to them. He says the party has a history in those areas and needs to reclaim that legacy.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]