Dems must move left, says senator

Greg Nash

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Democrats need to move more to the left to be successful during a speech at a progressive conference hosted by the Campaign For America's Future.

“The national Democrats haven't gotten the message, from the president on down, that you need to be a populist party,” Brown said at a speech at The New Populism Conference in Washington.

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A frequent Wall St. critic, Brown charged that financial institutions have become bigger since the 2008 recession — not just in size but in political power, and that Democrats need to make that a bigger issue.

While Brown has made similar arguments before, his remarks on Thursday further signaled the growing unrest progressives have with centrist Democrats.

Brown, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, doubled down in his remarks when speaking with reporters, saying Obama's economic policies were “a mixed bag.”

“It's a mixed bag, I think that there's too much Wall St. on the regulatory side,” Brown said. “[But] I think he's generally doing a good job, but I'd like him to be a little bit more aggressive.”

He dodged questions on whether he'd like to see a contested 2016 primary, as some progressives have suggested, against the undeclared front-runner former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I don't have any opinion on that,” he said. “We'll see.”