Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has already been declared winner of the 2020 Nevada Democratic caucuses, after cruising to victory and leaving his closest competitor, former Vice President Joe Biden, nearly 30 percentage points behind. Some are not taking the news well.
Per Law & Crime, veteran MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews “said the quiet part loud” during a Saturday broadcast, suggesting that some in the Democratic Party would be more comfortable with President Donald Trump winning another term than Sanders taking the White House come November.
Speaking with former Hillary Clinton adviser and Democratic Party strategist Adrienne Elrod, and journalist Elena Schneider, Matthews speculated that “Democratic moderates” may be better off with Trump in office, because Sanders would — as president — take over the Democratic Party and lead it in a new direction.
“I’m wondering if the Democratic moderates want Bernie Sanders to be President? Do they want Bernie Sanders to take over the Democratic Party in perpetuity?” he asked.
Elrod and Schneider were not able to respond, as Matthews was quick to continue his monologue, observing that President Sanders would set “the direction of the future of the party.” He then added that “Maybe they’d rather wait four years and put in the Democrat that they like.”
Elrod said that the anchor is posing “the big question,” stating that some Democratic strategists are concerned about losing seats in the House of Representatives if Sanders becomes president, but noting that she does not think that would necessarily happen. Matthews then repeatedly expressed concern about the future of the party.
The veteran anchor’s comments were criticized and ridiculed on social media, with various political figures blasting him over the suggestion. Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald observed that MSNBC has spent the past four years accusing Trump of being a “fascist” and a Russian asset, but now one of its most famous anchors is suggesting that agreeing to four more years of Trump would be preferable to supporting Sanders.
“With the Sanders surge, one MSNBC host — one of their highest-paid and most prominent ones — now positioning himself to back Trump’s re-election after 4 years of non-stop alarmism about Trump the fascist dictator Russian puppet posing an existential threat to US democracy,” Greenwald tweeted.
Matthews is also being criticized for comparing Sanders’ victory in Nevada to Nazi Germany’s invasion of France during World War II.
Mask off: Chris Matthews suggests Democratic establishment better off with four more years of Trump than Sanders movement reshaping party.
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) February 22, 2020
Although some in the pundit class apparently dislike Sanders, he is well-liked by Democratic voters. According to polling, Sanders is the most popular senator in the United States. Furthermore, according to research, Sanders has the highest favorability rating of all Democratic presidential candidates.