Dems should run as economic progressives, says ex-Obama strategist

Former Obama campaign strategist Joel Benenson said Thursday that Democrats should run as economic progressives in November's midterm elections. 

"I think Democrats should run as economic progressives. It's what we've always been. It's the party that has always stood up for working and middle-class Americans," Benenson told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 

"I think people who are talking about making sure that the economic policies are going to benefit people who are working hard day in and day out, who are struggling to get ahead and making sure that they are their families have opportunities to advance, as opposed to what the Republicans do, which [is] still practicing the notion of trickle-down economics, giving away massive tax cuts to corporations and the very wealthy, who don't need them," he said. 

Benenson's comments come as various Democratic candidates have pushed progressive stances on economic issues.

Democratic strategist Celinda Lake told The Hill last month that socialism “has become code for progressive economics” and that many Democrats would fall into that category even if they didn’t call themselves “socialists.” 

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE (I-Vt.), along with political newcomer, New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have backed progressive policies on the economy and health care.

While such policies have been praised widely among the party's progressives, other Democrats have warned her economic message may not resonate in other parts of the country. 

“I think that you can’t win the White House without the Midwest and I don’t think you can go too far to the left and still win the Midwest,” Democratic Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthDems should run as economic progressives, says ex-Obama strategist Democrats must reconcile party factions to raise blue wave odds Senate Dems want DOJ review of Giuliani's work for foreign entities MORE (Ill.) said during an interview in July. 

— Julia Manchester