Outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick slammed his party and President Obama for losses in this month’s midterm elections, telling Democrats they need to “grow a backbone.”
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Patrick said Democrats made a “huge mistake” to run away from President Obama during the election, but said the White House deserves some blame as well.
“One problem the president has is he doesn’t tell the story well or regularly,” he told host Chuck Todd. Obama needs to tout his accomplishments more often, Patrick said, citing the “importance of repetition.”
The election was “a bad day for Democrats who don’t stand for anything. When Democrats do stand for something, or as I have said in the past, grow a backbone, and stand up for what it is we believe, we win,” the governor said. Instead, Democrats hid from Obama and their own principles, Patrick added.
Patrick is leaving office at the end of the year after serving two terms. He will be replaced by Republican Charlie Baker, who beat Democrat Martha Coakley in one of the more surprising upsets for the GOP in an Election night filled with many.
Patrick also repeated a warning to a Democrat who is likely to represent the party’s future, saying Hillary Clinton needs to avoid creating a sense of inevitably around her likely run for the presidency in 2016. “People read inevitability as entitlement,” he warned.
“Well, I think first of all Hillary Clinton – Secretary Clinton – has been an extraordinary public servant and would be a terrific candidate for president. But I think that the narrative that it’s inevitable is off putting to regular voters,” Patrick told Todd.
It’s a warning that Patrick has issued before, leading some to think that he’s considering running for president himself against Clinton.
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But Patrick – as he has said many times before – insisted there’s no chance. “I’ve thought about it, but I can’t get ready for 2016,” he told Todd.
The Massachusetts Democrat also said that it would be “tough” for the U.S. Department of Justice to being a civil rights case against Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9.
Wilson was not indicted by a grand jury in St. Louis County last week, but a federal investigation is still ongoing. Patrick admitted that he “wanted to see an indictment” in the case “because so many of us have the supposition that police officers are not going to be held accountable and are not going to have to answer for the shooting of unarmed young black teenagers.”
Patrick, a lawyer who was briefly on the shortlist to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General, noted that federal prosecutors will have to prove that Brown’s civil rights were violated, not merely that he was killed without cause, a higher bar.