- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A House Democrat said Wednesday that his party made a “mistake” by having former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear give the Democratic Party’s response to President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress.

“I don’t mind saying when we make mistakes, and that was a mistake,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri Democrat, said on MSNBC.

Asked by host Craig Melvin what the “thinking” was in choosing a retired official to represent the party, Mr. Cleaver replied, “The problem is, you’re asking about thinking, and that didn’t happen.”

Mr. Beshear gave his rebuttal to the president while seated in a diner with patrons who watched him rigidly, a staging that drew howls from some on social media. Conservative pundit Laura Ingraham, an ally of the White House, said on Twitter, “Can someone pls rearrange the cardboard cutouts behind Beshear”?

Mr. Cleaver said he would have preferred a younger party spokesman such as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, or Rep. Cedric Richmond, Louisiana Democrat. He said he attended a meeting of Democrats Wednesday in which they discussed the party’s challenges in reaching out to younger voters.

“We think we’re going to have a problem if we don’t start presenting an image of the millennials and that there’s a youth movement in the Democratic Party,” Mr. Cleaver said.

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