Schumer: Democrats were ‘namby-pamby’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday promised a bolder economic message for the Democratic party, including the potential for single-payer health care.

"We were too cautious, we were too namby-pamby," Schumer said on ABC’s "This Week." "This is sharp, bold and will appeal to both the old Obama coalition, let’s say the young lady who’s just getting out of college, and the Democratic voters who deserted us for Trump, the blue-collar worker. Economics is our strength, and we are going to get at it."

The New York senator said the new Democratic agenda, set to be unveiled on Monday, would include proposals to "just go after these drug companies when they raise prices so egregiously and people can’t afford these drugs" and a plan to "change the way companies can merge," mentioning the cable, airline and gas industries.

"How the heck did we let Exxon and Mobil merge?" he said. "And that was Democrats."

Democrats have searched for a new message since their loss to President Donald Trump in November, with public polling showing that most people don’t know what Democrats stand for beyond opposition to the unpopular president. The left wing of the party, including many followers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have pushed for the party to adopt a more populist economic message, including single-payer health care.

Asked if single-payer was on the table, Schumer responded: "Sure."

"Many things are on the table. Medicare for people above 55 is on the table. A buy-in to Medicare is on the table. A buy-in to Medicaid is on the table," he said.

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