In an interview with Bill Maher on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said that the Democratic Party abandoned working-class Americans in favor of “beautiful people,” indirectly referencing the wealthy.
“You say like they abandoned their cause to the beautiful people,” HBO host Bill Maher said to Sanders during “Real Time with Bill Maher.” “Who are the beautiful people?”
“Hey, Bill,” Sanders said, gesturing to Maher. “You look really beautiful tonight here in L.A. Here’s the point, the point that I was making is that when FDR was president, when Truman was President, even when JFK was president, you go out on the street, and you say to people which party represents the working class in America.”
“Most people, I think, agree, would have said the Democratic Party. Today, you go out on the street, that is not the sentiment, in fact, the Republican party probably has more adherents than the Democrats,” Sanders added.
— Real Time with Bill Maher (@RealTimers) March 4, 2023
In July 2022, Axios analyzed that the Democratic Party is becoming the party of the wealthy while the Republican Party is “quietly building a multiracial coalition of working-class voters.”
Before the 2022 midterms, NBC noted that White working-class and Hispanic voters were “shifting” to Republican. Since 2010, Republicans have experienced a 12% increase in blue-collar voters, while Democrats have lost 8% of them, according to the outlet.
The Democratic Party’s message of abortion rights, gun control, and “safeguarding democracy,” are issues that appeal to socially liberal voters with college degrees, not working-class Americans.
In September 2016, former President Bill Clinton gave a speech in West Virginia, labeling working-class voters as “coal people.”
“We all know how [Hillary’s] opponent has done well down in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky,” Clinton told the crowd at the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum. “The coal people don’t like any of us [Democrats] anymore.”
On ABC’s “The View,” Sanders claimed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election because blue-collar voters didn’t believe she would “stand” with them.
“I think it is fair to say that the working class of this country didn’t believe that she [Clinton] was prepared to stand up and fight for them,” he said in November 2016. “Even if her policies were.”
As President Joe Biden prepares for the 2024 presidential election, Democrats worry about blue-collar votes.