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Democrats embrace a populist pitch in rebranding move

US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts spoke Monday in Berryville, Va., where congressional Democrats unveiled their new agenda.Cliff Owen/Associated Press

BERRYVILLE, Va. — Promising a better deal for American workers, Democratic Party leaders rolled out a new agenda with a populist pitch on Monday as they seek to bounce back from their losses in November and look ahead to the 2018 midterms.

They left the Beltway for small-town Berryville in an attempt to appeal to the working-class voters that President Trump appealed to during the 2016 campaign and Democrats hope to win back.

‘‘Too many Americans don’t know what we stand for,’’ Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer of New York said. ‘‘Not after today.’’

The Democrats’ new platform has three overarching goals: raising wages, lowering costs for families, and giving working Americans better skills for the 21st century economy.


‘‘People need to know not only what we’re fighting against, they need to know what we’re fighting for,’’ Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said.

Attempting to bridge all parts of the party, Democrats invited centrist Senator Mark Warren of Virginia and liberal Senator Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

The event took place in the district of one of the GOP House members they hope to defeat next year, Barbara Comstock.

‘‘While it’s early, there’s no doubt that this district and so many others are up for grabs in the 2018 midterms,’’ said Representative Ben Ray Lujan, who chairs the Democrats’ House campaign committee.

The full title of the agenda is ‘‘A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future.’’ After an earlier and incomplete version leaked last week, Twitter users mocked the similarity to the slogan for Papa John’s pizza, ‘‘Better Ingredients, Better Pizza.’’

Democrats hope to make gains in next year’s midterm elections, and perhaps even flip the 24 GOP-held seats necessary to regain the majority in the House.

Detailed planks will be rolled out over time. On Monday, three were being unveiled:


■  Lowering prescription drug prices. Suggestions include a new agency that could investigate drug manufacturer price hikes and allow Medicare to negotiate directly for the best drug prices.

■  Cracking down on corporate monopolies. Democrats would enact standards to limit large mergers, and create a consumer competition advocate.

■  Creating millions more jobs. The agenda includes proposals for expanding apprenticeships and providing a tax credit to employers to train and hire new workers.