Democrats have lost the "support and trust" of independent voters, according to Harold Ford, Jr.

In an op-ed in today's New York Times, Ford calls on President Obama and the Democratic Party "to shift attention away from health care and toward a bold effort to create jobs, improve the economy and rein in the size of government."

The former Tennessee congressman, who's openly pondering a challenge to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), goes on to offer a centrist prescription for putting the country on a “better course.”

First, he calls for cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.

Second, Ford says Democrats should abandon the healthcare bill they want and instead focus on what they can accomplish. The party needs a “more focused health reform bill that restructures current health care costs before spending more, prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, enacts responsible reform on malpractice suits and extends health coverage to all children,” Ford said.

The Democrat rounds out the piece with calls for immigration reform and spending cuts.

“A Democratic Party refocused on revitalizing our economy, protecting the United States from terrorism and re-establishing itself as the party for the middle class is what Americans are demanding,” Ford said.