- The Washington Times - Friday, June 2, 2017

Sen. Al Franken says it’s time for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party to “move on” from her presidential election loss and learn how to better reach voters.

“I love Hillary. I think she was very prepared to be president of the United States,” the Minnesota Democrat told Yahoo’s Katie Couric in an interview Thursday.

“I think she’s the smartest, toughest, hardest-working person I know,” he continued. “And I think she has a right to analyze what happened, but we do have to move on. And we have to move on by proving we are the party that cares about a lot of the people who voted for Donald Trump.”

Mr. Franken’s comments come after Mrs. Clinton blamed many of her campaign troubles on a laundry list of issues — including Russian meddling, misogyny, fake news, and a lack of DNC support — during the Code Conference Wednesday in Ranch Palos Verdes, California.

“I set up my campaign and we have our own data operation,” she said. “I get the nomination. So I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party. … I mean it was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had to inject money into it … to keep it going.”

Mrs. Clinton’s comments sparked criticism among her own base. Her former longtime aide, Patti Solis Doyle, wrote on Twitter that she’s “tired” of the former Democratic nominee playing the blame game. Mrs. Clinton’s former campaign secretary, Brian Fallon, said Thursday that “we’re past the time where we should be re-litigating our failures.”

Mr. Franken added Thursday that Democrats need to work on formulating a message and reach out to individual voters.

“We are the ones fighting for people — for average, working people,” the senator said. “There are a lot of Minnesotans who are Franken-Trump voters. You have to go and talk to them, and you have to listen. That’s what we need to do. We need to listen.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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