Sherrod Brown: Dems will lose if 'we have to choose' between speaking to progressive base and workers

Sherrod Brown: Dems will lose if 'we have to choose' between speaking to progressive base and workers
© Getty Images

Ohio Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Trade chief defends Trump tariffs before skeptical Congress | Kudlow denies plan to demote Fed chief | Waters asks Facebook to halt cryptocurrency project On The Money: Trade chief defends Trump tariffs before skeptical Congress | Kudlow denies plan to demote Fed chief | Waters asks Facebook to halt cryptocurrency project Maxine Waters calls on Facebook to halt cryptocurrency project MORE (D) is urging the Democratic Party's eventual 2020 presidential nominee to reach out to all Americans and build a broad coalition instead of choosing to either speak to workers or progressives. 

In an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Brown warned that such a choice between working-class voters and progressive activists was a trap that spelled defeat for the party.

ADVERTISEMENT

"No matter who the presidential nominee is, it ... should be somebody whose centerpiece of the campaign is dignity of work," Brown said, riffing off of his "Dignity of Work" tour, which has brought the senator to several key primary states.

"I've seen so many national Democrats look at this as you either speak to the progressive base, or you speak to workers, working-class voters of all races. And if we have to choose between the two, we lose," he added to MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski.

"To win Ohio, to win the industrial Midwest, the heartland, and the Electoral College you've got to speak to the progressive base, to be sure, as I have my whole career, but you've got to talk to workers and live where they live."

Brown added that he is thinking "very seriously" of running in 2020, echoing his previous comments.

In an interview with The New York Times last year, Brown said that he and his wife "have been overwhelmed by the number of people that have come forward and said, ‘You’ve got to run. You have the right message. You come from the right state.’ ”

Brown won reelection in November by 7 points in a state President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE won by 8 points over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Five takeaways from Trump's 2020 kickoff rally Trump jokes he'd get 'electric chair' if he deleted even one 'love note' email to Melania MORE (D) in 2016.

If he decides to run, the 66-year-old would join a crowded Democratic field that includes several of his colleagues in the Senate. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden, Sanders to be center stage at first debate Biden, Sanders to be center stage at first debate Poll: Six Dems lead Trump in Florida match-ups MORE (D-Calif.) announced her candidacy earlier this week and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Sanders tears into Trump in response to campaign kickoff rally Warren introduces universal child care legislation MORE (D-Mass.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law MORE (D-N.Y.) have formed presidential exploratory committees.