Dem candidates can't be just anti-Trump: Moulton on Powerhouse Politics

PHOTO: Congressman Seth Moulton addresses the crowd during a Stand With Planned Parenthood rally at the Boston Common in Boston, Mass., March 4, 2017.Craig F. Walker/Boston Globe via Getty Images
Congressman Seth Moulton addresses the crowd during a Stand With Planned Parenthood rally at the Boston Common in Boston, Mass., March 4, 2017.

Coming off a night of Democratic victories in congressional primaries, Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., describes the winning candidates as “a new generation.”

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“Democrats can’t just be opposed to Trump," he told Powerhouse Politics podcast hosts Jon Karl and Rick Klein. "We have to have an agenda and a vision of our own. And that’s why I’m fighting for a new generation of leadership in the [Democratic] Party.”

Moulton, a Marine Corps veteran, does not like the effort by liberal Democratic activist Tom Steyer to make impeachment of the president the unifying message of the Democratic party.

"I talked about why we need to lead on national security because we have a president who is being utterly reckless,"

But in Moulton's view, it's a mistake to rally Democratic troops around a theme of a hypothetical impeachment.

“We’re not going to just complain about the president or complain about the Republicans, even though there are a lot of things that are very legitimate to complain about. We’re going to put forward a positive agenda that shows how everybody in America can have a role in the economy that shows what it means to have a smart and secure national defense.”

Moulton is building and raising money to support a network of fellow veterans to try and flip the House in midterm elections to Democratic control.

PHOTO: Amy McGrath, former U.S. Marine and Democratic congressional candidate for Kentucky, speaks during the 2018 MAKERS Conference in Hollywood, Calif., Feb. 6, 2018. Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Amy McGrath, former U.S. Marine and Democratic congressional candidate for Kentucky, speaks during the 2018 MAKERS Conference in Hollywood, Calif., Feb. 6, 2018.

One of his picks, Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot with three kids, won her primary in the 6th Congressional District in Kentucky.

Moulton argues that Democrats can win in red states by standing up to Washington, moving more to the middle on political issues, and making the economy a top priority.

Even though one of his recruits won her primary, Moulton tips his hat to the GOP. “The Republicans have actually done a better job. The Republicans have gotten out and recruited new people to run. If you look at their leadership in the House, it’s much younger and more dynamic than ours.”

So, if the House turns blue, are Minority House leader Nancy Pelosi’s days numbered?

Moulton declined to comment on a potential power struggle over who lead a Democratic House majority. Minority Leader Pelosi has made it clear she plans on running for House speaker again. But Moulton did volunteer one observation: “There’s a change afoot.” He even offered up a viable candidate – a fellow member of the Massachusetts delegation, Rep. Joe Kennedy.

"I've yet to see whether or not he actually wants to pursue it. He's a modest guy, but he is exactly the kind of new generation of leaders that I think we need."