After the Democratic presidential debate on Friday, MSNBC host Chris Matthews appeared on a post-debate panel and went on a rant about Bernie Sanders and his Democratic socialist platform, Common Dreams reports.
According to Matthews, who invoked the name of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, electing Sanders could lead to a dictatorship that would include the execution of political figures.
“I believe if Castro and the reds had won the Cold War there would have been executions in Central Park and I might have been one of the ones getting executed. I don’t know who Bernie Sanders supports over these years, I don’t know what he means by socialism.”
Matthews then noted that Sanders has suggested the United States will move in the direction of Denmark. However, he acknowledged that Denmark is “basically a capitalist country” with the addition of “good social programs.”
Many took to social media to slam Matthews for his comments and accuse him of fear-mongering.
“You can’t say ‘blue no matter who’ and also insinuate that Bernie might execute people in the streets. Come on,” wrote radio host Austin Walker.
“Matthews isn’t going to be held accountable for losing his mind on national television,” wrote American video producer Carlos Maza, who claimed that “peddling wild conspiracies about socialism” is acceptable, unlike people who carry the socialist tag.
The controversy comes after Sanders used his debate appearance to express his desire to move the United States closer to developed Scandinavian countries and provide publicly-funded education and health care. He also expressed the desire to implement guaranteed paid leave and other social programs seen in Democratic socialist countries.
When discussing Bernie Sanders, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews goes on a rant against socialism:
“I’ve seen what socialism is like and I don’t like it.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 8, 2020
While other candidates suggested that Sanders’ positions would make it more difficult to bring enough people together to take on Donald Trump, Sanders suggested the opposite— he claimed the politics were unifying. According to the 78-year-old politician, the American people want to start cracking down on billionaires and large corporations and begin guaranteeing health care as a human right.
A recent CNN poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center shows that Sanders maintains a healthy seven-point lead over his closest competitor — former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. Unlike the pair of frontrunners, support for former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has declined, with the former at 11 percent support and the latter at nine percent.
Although Sanders and Buttigieg are both in favorable positions, approximately half of the voters surveyed said they have yet to make up their minds on who to support for the nomination.