Sen. Sherrod Brown: Democrats should run on message of 'respecting workers'

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, discusses the state of the Democratic Party and whether he might throw his hat into the Democratic presidential field on "This Week."
6:32 | 11/25/18

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Transcript for Sen. Sherrod Brown: Democrats should run on message of 'respecting workers'
Thank you George. Let's bring in the democratic senator from Ohio, Sherrod brown from Cleveland. You heard governor Kasich say it was a good year for Republicans in Ohio. You were the exception to that. You won re-election handedly. What message did that say to you about where Ohio is and where the country is right now? If you love your country, you fight for the people that make it work. My message -- not just my message. My career is devoted to the dignity of work. You honor and respect all workers, whether they swipe a clock, whether they wear a badge, whether they're raising kids, whether they're working on salary or working for tips. Both parties may have forgotten that the dignity of work and respecting workers is the way we should do our jobs every day. You were the exception this year. Why do you think Ohio has been drifting away from Democrats? Ohio is a -- it's a state that's gotten more conservative. We've seen -- we don't have a lot of -- we have a net out migration. We stemmed that unfortunately during the last eight years. It's not seemed to have -- we've not really addressed that very well with this state government. We've had 30 years in this state of mostly a net out migration of young people. We have not have the type of leadership -- I respect governor Kasich, I appreciated that he expanded medicaid and the direction of the state has not been to the state's benefit. The state seems to be getting more conservative. Coming out of your election, in the past you dismissed the idea of running for president. There have been suggestions you're more open to it since you were re-elected a couple weeks ago. I'll ask you the same question I asked governor Kasich. How serious are you about running for president in 2020? As I said before, you know I didn't have this dream of being president of the United States. I would prefer to have -- my dream was to play center field for the Cleveland Indians. That door obviously is closed. Since the election, Connie and I have been overwhelmed by the number of people from around the country that have said we should think about doing this. I haven't made trips to Iowa or New Hampshire and haven't done any of those things to prepare. That's fine. The Iowa caucus is 13 months away. We're seriously thinking about it and talking about it with family and friends and political allies who have come to me about this. Ideally I want my message of the dignity of work to -- I want that to be the narrative for other democratic candidates. That's how you beat -- Donald Trump won my state by almost double digits. He won the industrial midwest. To turn that around, I hope that candidates running in the democratic primary talk about the dignity of work, talk about respecting work, talk about when you work hard and play by the rules, you ought to be able to get ahead. We've seen profits go up. We've seen executive compensation explode. We've seen more productive workers, yet wages have been flat. We've seen lots of heart ache in my state and throughout the industrial midwest and throughout the country because members of congress -- frankly the white house looks like a retreat for Wall Street executives. They've not paid attention to working class issues and workers regardless of the type of work they do. The president has this populist rhetoric. I know you believe he hasn't followed through on it. Is there any potential issues where you could work with him? Could you sign on to his new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada? I've been part of the negotiations to renegotiate nafta. It still falls short on worker rights in terms of the labor enforcement -- enforcement of labor law. It hasn't done that. Mexico hasn't improved its labor laws like they promised. That's all contingent. I want to see that happen. I would like to work with this president on infrastructure. He has campaigned on a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package. That's over the next ten years. He's not lifted a finger with any serious proposal to congress. I would work on those kinds of things. Fundamentally you've seen a president with his phony populism where the white house looks like a retreat for wall Street executives, except when it looks like a retreat or oil executives, except when it looks like a retreat for pharmaceutical executives. The white house should never push people down to lift other people up. That's the phony populism of Donald Trump. This president's divisive rhetoric in order to distract from the issues of the day is what's put us -- it's frankly why his leadership has been so wanting. A whole bunch of Democrats are looking at the race including you. Anyone else you look at in that field who if they got in, you would get out? Say that again. Any Democrats that could keep you out of a run for president? This decision is more personal than that. I respect a number of them, many of my senate colleagues have been running for president for sometime as have others around the country. I don't see this as me against any individual person. I see this as -- if I run or not, I want my message of dignity of workers to be a message for all people. I want that to be this narrative in the presidential election regardless of the nominee. Senator brown, thanks for your time. Thanks. Before 2020 Democrats have a

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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