Charles Krauthammer said Democrats have "been living off their glory years" for decades.
Krauthammer said Democratic successes in the mid-20th Century have led them to be somewhat complacent in finding a new defining message in recent years.
He noted they "invented" social security, Medicare and Medicaid, and came up with the New Deal and Great Society.
However, he noted that by the late 1970s, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) recognized that "the party of ideas" began to run out of ideas.
Krauthammer said the Democrats' new concentrated messaging - on display at a joint leadership speech in Clarke County, Va. - is still just the "stuff at the margins."
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Democrats "have been living off their glory years for the last 20 or 30 [years]," he said.
Democratic leaders Charles Schumer of New York, Nancy Pelosi of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Hakeem Jeffries of New York laid out their "better deal" earlier Monday.
As Democrats tried to rebrand as the party offering "a better deal" for voters, Republicans panned the effort as little more than "recycled" talking points. Their new slogan -- formally titled “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future” -- also has faced criticism from Democratic speechwriters.
But many Democrats are now acknowledging their party failed to communicate a winning message to voters last year, and the broader point behind Monday's relaunch is to focus more on jobs and other kitchen-table issues.
Sen. Schumer was joined at Monday's event by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, and other rank-and-file Democrats from the House and Senate.
“We must have a strong middle class,” Pelosi said. “Essential to the strength of the middle class is the financial stability of the working family. And essential to that are bigger paychecks.”
Democrats held the event in GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock’s district, a seat that's a top target in the party's bid to retake the House next year.
Krauthammer said ideas like a $15 minimum wage may not be appetizing to conservatives, but are messages popular in western Europe.
He said the message is a more coherent platform than Trump-Russia accusations and the like.
"[Western Europe] is not a hellhole, but it's not America," he said, discussing how well Democrats' new "Better Deal" may play in parts of the country.
Watch more above.