CHICAGO -- Hillary Clinton's chief campaign strategist said Monday the October surprise concerning Hillary Clinton's private email server cost the campaign dearly in its final days, as Democrats continue to search for answers after the presidential election.
"We saw after the third debate we were consolidating. We had momentum and we get to 11 days out when the FBI director takes an unprecedented action and throws a monkey wrench into the campaign that you couldn’t have anticipated," Joel Benenson said Monday at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.
Benenson admitted he first became concerned about Donald Trump before he clinched the Republican nomination.
"The thing that you can’t control about him was how he was able to dominate news and manipulate the media. And I’m not using the word manipulate in an insidious way. If you don’t care whether anything you say is true or not, and you’re not being judged harshly for it, well then just keep saying stuff that’s not true," Beneson said.
Former Obama advisor David Axelrod also challenged the Democratic Party look deeper into the message voters sent.
"Hillary Clinton was in many ways the quintessential sort of establishment candidate," Axelrod said.
"There’s something huge going on. The fact that it’s happening in not just our country but every advanced country where liberal democracies are on the run and right wing populist candidates are doing better, there’s something bigger going on and it has to do with revolutionary changes in our economy," he said.
"We haven’t told a real story about that and we haven’t offered compelling answers to it," Axelrod said.