Liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews chided the entire field of Democratic presidential candidates Tuesday for being too “chicken” to go after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for his “self-declared socialism.”
Matthews denounced the other candidates Tuesday for not calling out the “bad behavior” of some of Sanders’ supporters, and for not challenging the senator’s radical ideas.
According to the MSNBC personality, Sanders is endangering the party of Kennedy, Roosevelt and Obama while his Democratic opponents sit idly by.
“[The other candidates] seem to have a hesitancy or a fear of going after his ideology, of going after his self-declared socialism or even about the do-ability of all the things he says he’s gonna do,” the “Hardball” host said.
Matthews then predicted that Republicans would stay in control of at least half the Senate in the 2020 elections, noting that it would take at least 60 votes for Sanders to accomplish anything meaningful on his proposed agenda.
Matthews then went on a monologue, dropping the hammer on the Vermont socialist:
“Nobody just says the obvious: ‘Bernie, you’re full of it. None of this going to get passed. You’re going to be a miserable president, frustrated from the first day because you’re not going to get Medicare for All. You’re not going to get free college tuition for public universities. You’re not going to get payoffs of all student loans. None of this is going to happen and you’re just going to just sit there and stew in it,’” Matthews said.
“So why don’t they bring that up? I do not understand why they don’t bring that up,” he said.
Matthews disregarded concerns that by attacking Sanders, other candidates would alienate Sanders’ supporters and fail to unify the kind of voting coalition they will need to beat President Donald Trump.
“That is the chicken way there’re doing it,” he said of the other candidates’ apparent reluctance to condemn their party’s more radical wing.
“In the end you have to go where you believe. Are they centrist Democrats? Are they moderate Democrats who believe in a market system and a safety net and decent regulation? The kind of government we’ve had,” Matthews said.
“They’re just pandering to the Bernie people, and you know what pandering gets you? Nothing,” he said. “It certainly doesn’t get you respect.”
“They’ve got to get out there and say, ‘I disagree with socialism. I believe in the markets. I think he’s wrong. I think he’ll never get it done, and this country will never go that direction, and, by the way, we’ll lose 49 states,’” he added.
Matthews compared the current Democratic primary to one that most Democrats would rather forget.
He recalled the 1972 primary, in which ultra-liberal Democratic nominee George McGovern was nominated, only to be nearly swept by incumbent President Richard Nixon, who won 49 states, in the general election.
“I was there in 1972 at the Democratic convention where the people on the left were dancing in glee, I saw them, they were literally … dancing in a circle,” he said. “They were so happy they defeated the moderates.”
“They went on to lose 49 states in their glee. So that can happen again. So clearly, that’s what I see. It could happen again,” Matthews concluded.
It is clear that Sanders does not give Matthews that old thrill-up-his-leg feeling.
In fact, Matthews has been a relentless critic of Sanders in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, the liberal pundit questioned Sanders’ belief system in its entirety.
“I remember the Cold War,” Matthews said, according to Business Insider. “I have an attitude toward Castro. 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 executed, and certain other people would be there cheering, OK? So I have a problem with people who took the other side.”
“I don’t know who Bernie supports over these years,” he added. “I don’t know what he means by socialism.”
“Some people like [socialism], younger people like it. Those of us like me, who grew up in the Cold War and saw some aspects of it after visiting places like Vietnam, like I have, and seeing countries like Cuba, being there, I’ve seen what socialism is like,” Matthews said.
“I don’t like it. OK. It’s not only not free, it doesn’t frickin’ work,” he concluded.
Chris Matthews: Socialism “doesn’t frickin work.”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 8, 2020
Sanders has emerged as the clear front-runner in the Democratic primary after strong showings is Iowa and New Hampshire.
Despite that success, Matthews is not the only person concerned with the senator’s self-described “democratic socialism.”
According to a new poll from NBC and The Wall Street Journal, 67 percent of registered voters polled say they either have “some reservations” or are “very uncomfortable” voting for a candidate who is labeled a “socialist.”
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