In a new interview with the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty that was published on Monday, Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), who was just re-elected two weeks ago, commented on the status of the Democratic Party and in the process directed some stern criticism toward his own party over its handling of the southern border crisis.
Tumulty, a Post writer and deputy editorial page editor, asked Kelly directly what he believes are the lessons for other Democrats going forward.
Kelly, widely regarded as the Democratic Party’s leader and a potential presidential candidate, responded by assuring Tumulty that he campaigned “everywhere” and did not disregard Republican strongholds in the state.
Tumulty then took the opportunity to ask Kelly whether Democrats understood the frustrations many Americans felt about the crisis at the U.S. southern border involving a massive surge in illegal migrants.
“Absolutely not. Not even close,” Kelly declared without hesitation.
“When I first got to Washington, it didn’t take me long to realize that there are a lot of Democrats who don’t understand our southern border and a lot of Republicans who just want to talk about it, don’t necessarily want to do anything about it, just want to use it politically,” he added.
“But when I talk to my Republican colleagues who are not anywhere near a border — let’s say they’re in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee — they have the same problem. So there are solutions and we’re continuing to work on this. Our country would really benefit from stronger border security and comprehensive immigration reform.” he continued.
Tumulty then asked Kelly his opinion on what lessons, if any, the Republican party could take from their underperformance in the midterm elections.