WBUR

Patrick: Dems Need To Focus On What We’re For, Not Who We’re Against

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tuesday will be a big night for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick at the Democratic National Convention here. In a key speech, Patrick will make his case about why President Obama deserves another four years in office.

“Both campaigns spend a lot of time in the contrasting and talking about what’s wrong with the other guy and so forth,” Patrick said in an interview with WBUR. “I want to talk about what’s right with this president, what’s right with his agenda and his vision.”

Despite a sluggish economy weighing on most voters’ minds, Patrick said Democrats need to emphasize the president’s record over the last four years on, such as: jobs added, health care reform and the auto bailout.

“I think that it’s also important to acknowledge how much remains to be done,” Patrick added. “Because I’m one who doesn’t believe that anybody gets a second term as a reward for the first. It’s gotta be about what the unfinished agenda is.”

Even with that unfinished agenda, Patrick said the country is better off today than it was four years ago. He said the president and his supporters should acknowledge the accomplishments, but be honest about the work remaining.

On the campaigns themselves, Patrick said both are going more negative than he would like.

“I totally get the importance of contrast. I get that,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I think Americans are an optimistic and a positive people. And we want reason to vote for, rather than just a reason to vote against.”

However, Patrick said he will talk about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in his convention speech Tuesday night.

“I don’t think that he is either a moderate or a conservative,” Patrick said. “I think in practical terms he’s been more of an opportunist, in the sense of having a different thing to say depending on the audience he was in front of.”

When asked whether he thought that charge was a negative swipe against Romney, Patrick replied, “Well, that’s the truth.”

Patrick said Romney did “one profoundly important thing” as governor of Massachusetts: enacting the landmark 2006 heath care law.

But Patrick said Romney does not talk about the health care overhaul or much of his experience as governor because “it doesn’t fit the storyline he’s selling right now.”

Still, Patrick said the ultimate focus for Democrats has to be on the positive: what they support rather than the Republican challenger.

Click the player atop this post for the full interview with Patrick.

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  • J__o__h__n

    Bob kept making it appear that the economic problems only appeared under Obama: “the last four years have pushed that dream furthur out of reach for many people” and  “Am I better off than I was four years ago” and worst of all “but since then we’ve had four years of a sour economy” — the sour economy started before Obama took office.  Deval Patrick pointed this out numerous times but Bob was oblivious.  And the sloppy journalism continued with “both sides” are responsible for the negativity.  Yet he let Weld get away with reciting the “you didn’t build that” talking points. 

  • comment

    We are still talking about the same important issues, year after year. I encourage all to compare and contrast the lack of content in the speeches of the Republican Convention with the content of Ann Richards speech in 1988 (poor George…the silver foot in his mouth speech). 

    Whether it is Deval Patrick, Elizabeth Warren, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama….it could all be summed up by just replaying Ann Richards speech of 1988.

    The question is why are our legislators not addressing the important issues of the time?
    Republicans and Democrats have two distinctively different visions….and anyone calling themselves an “independent” is simply “ineffective”.

  • X-Ray

    Patrick is right. Pointing out the weakness of a supposed Romney
    administration only highlights the fecklessness of Obama’s last (almost) four
    years and his blaming everyone but himself for the outcome. Some
    actual, creditable plans need to be put forward. Ex-president Clinton asserting,
    in his broadcast commercials, that Obama has a plan won’t cut it because the
    question is immediately raised, “What’s the plan and why hasn’t it been put
    forward or implemented up to now”?. And before we again hear the excuse,
    “Republican obstructionism”, may I point out that the Democrats had control of
    both houses of Congress for the first two years of his tenure and accomplished
    nothing except pass a dubious National Health Care bill.

    • Tyler Brown

      Respectfully, if you claim the republicans were not obstructionist, you must not fully understand how filibusters work

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