Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville has never been one to mince words, and that held true in a new interview as he assailed his party for wasting money on past unwinnable Senate races.
Speaking with Vox, Carville bemoaned Democrats raising eyepopping amounts of money for media darling candidates like Amy McGrath in Kentucky and Jaime Harrison in South Carolina in 2020, only for them both to lose by double-digits in the red states.
“They were always going to lose those races, but Democrats keep doing this stupid s—,” Carville said. “They’re too damn emotional. Democrats obsess over high-profile races they can’t win because that’s where all the attention is. We’re addicted to hopeless causes.
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“What about the secretary of state in Wisconsin? Or the attorney general race in Michigan? How much money are Democrats and progressives around the country sending to those candidates? I’m telling you, if Democrats are worried about voting rights and election integrity, then these are the sorts of races they should support and volunteer for, because this is where the action is and this is where things will be decided.”
Calling for Democrats to keep their eye on the ball and focus on winnable races, Carville defended Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the moderate Democrat who’s been a thorn in the side of progressives on issues like the filibuster and the Build Back Better social policy package championed by President Biden. Carville said it was pointless for liberals to fume about him or suggest he could be replaced by a more reliable Democrat.
“B—-ing about a Democratic senator in West Virginia is missing the damn plot,” he said, noting West Virginia has been one of the reddest states in the country in recent presidential elections.
Carville said he’d do everything in his power to re-elect Manchin in 2024 if he ran again.
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“Six percent of adults in this country identify as ‘progressive.’ Only 11 or 12 percent of Democrats identify as progressive. So let’s just meet in the middle and say something like 7 or 8 percent of the country agrees with the progressive left,” he said. This ain’t a g—amn debate anymore. Someone like Manchin is closer to the mainstream than a lot of these people think, and pretending like he isn’t won’t help the cause.”
He was less gracious toward another moderate Democrat, Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who has also bedeviled liberals and brought on cries for a primary challenge. Like Manchin, Sinema has maintained support for keeping the filibuster that creates a 60-vote threshold to advance legislation for a vote.
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“I’ve never met her, I have no idea what the hell she’s thinking,” Carville said. “I’ve talked to people who know her and the only theory they have that makes any sense is that she views herself as some kind McCain-esque maverick. But look, I’m out of gas on this one. I really am.”