Obama’s Agriculture Secretary: Democrats ‘Need to Speak More Directly’ to Rural America

Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack August 26, 2015 in Baldwin, Iowa.
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Washington, DC

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says Democrats need to talk to people in rural America following Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.

“If Democrats show up in these places they are not going to win, but they are not going to get shellacked,” Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa, explained to the Washington Post. “And that’s the key. It’s about not getting beat so badly.”

Vilsack, recalling a conversation he had with Vice President Joe Biden after the election, said, “We need to speak more directly to our folks in rural America.”

“And we have to spend time there,” he added.

The push for Democrats to target rural voters comes after Clinton lost Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — all states usually won by Democrats — where many critics say the Democratic Party lost touch with working class voters.

In the United States House of Representatives, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) is challenging House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) because he says his party is becoming “a regional party that fails to get into the majority.”

As a Democrat from Ohio, Ryan argues that his party needs an economic message that speaks to working-class voters across the country that have typically voted Democrat in the past, but this year decided to support Trump.

“Those people left us in droves,” Tim Ryan tells Fox News, talking about working class voters. “Without a good message that connects deeply with them where we’re talking about issues they care about … They’re never going to come back.”