Presidential historian Kearns Goodwin: US needs a 'fiery centrist' right now

Presidential historian Kearns Goodwin: US needs a 'fiery centrist' right now
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Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin said early Thursday that the country needs a "fiery centrist" right now to heal divisions and avoid "every single day" being "a breaking news day." 

“I’m not sure what the story is right now for them," Kearns Goodwin said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" while arguing that the Democratic Party lacks a positive message. "It just can’t be anti-Trump."

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"[The message to voters] has to be, 'What would it be like to wake up in the morning maybe and not have a scandal every single day? Not be breaking news every single day? Because we’re working together as a country, as a whole," the bestselling author continued.

"Whoever can talk about that, about healing divisions and making this country feel like we’re common citizens again, but with a fiery passion," she added. "That can’t be a centrist, a passive centrist, you’ve got to be a fiery centrist. And there could be such a person. That’s what the country needs right now.”

The commentary comes as conservatives railed against fiery rhetoric in recent days from prominent Democrats, including 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton5 things to watch in the Democratic debates Democrats leery of Sanders plan to cancel student loan debt Mellman: Are primary debates different? MORE and former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderThe most important pledge Democratic presidential candidates can make Congress and contempt: What you need to know The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats wonder: Can Nadler handle the Trump probe? MORE.

Clinton told CNN on Tuesday that "the time for civility is over" when dealing with the GOP, while Holder declared that when Republicans go low, "we kick them," modifying a reference from former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama leads USA dodgeball against Corden's Team UK Michelle Obama to lead female celebrity dodgeball team in 'Late Late Show' face-off Obamas sign deal with Spotify to produce podcasts MORE who once said, "When they go low, we go high."

Democrats argue that Republicans have been no better in raising the level of discourse, pointing to supporters of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign buys full page ads in Miami newspapers ahead of Dem debates Trump administration's 'forced diplomacy' with Iran isn't working Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE earlier in the week chanting "Lock her up," when the president broached Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDemocratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Negotiators face major obstacles to meeting July border deadline Young activists press for change in 2020 election MORE's (D-Calif.) role in Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSusan Collins: Trump's 'she's not my type' defense is 'extremely bizarre' Impeaching the president: At what cost, and by what method? Stephen King: 'It's time for Susan Collins to go' MORE's confirmation process.

-- Updated Oct. 12, 10:47 p.m.