Did Tom Steyer Just Make a Good Point?

Charles Krupa/AP

Billionaire and philanthropist Tom Steyer—who is currently polling at 2 percent nationally—just delivered what may turn out to be the best line of Friday night’s Democratic presidential debate.

As the other candidates squabbled over health care, Steyer refocused the conversation by quoting the infamous phrase from Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid,” getting to the heart of the challenge of defeating an incumbent. 

“We’re gonna have to take Mr. Trump down on the economy, because if you listen to him, he’s crowing about it every single day,” Steyer said, “and he’s gonna beat us unless we can take him down on the economy, stupid.”

The problem, Steyer seemed to suggest, was not Democrats’ policies so much as their overall messaging.

“I have heard this debate so many darn times, and I love all these people, and they’re all right,” he said. “If we win, we can get the right thing, Bernie. I am with you. If we win, we can get the right thing, Pete and Amy. But we gotta win, or we are in deep trouble, and we keep not talking about the facts.”

FACT:

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FACT:

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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