MSNBC host Chris Matthews gave Hillary Clinton an opportunity during an exclusive interview Tuesday to explain the difference between being a Democrat and a socialist. Clinton could not give a clear answer on what the difference is.
All Clinton could say was that she was not a socialist and was a progressive Democrat.
Matthews said he wanted to "help" Clinton, for his audience, locate herself politically, making the puzzling statement that "nobody" uses the term "socialist" in a derogatory way. Clinton's challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) identifies as a Democratic socialist.
"What's the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?" Matthews asked. "Is that a question you want to answer or would you rather not, politically?"
"Well, you'd have to ask–" Clinton started.
"See, I'm asking you," Matthew said. "You're a Democrat, he's a socialist. Would you like somebody to call you a socialist? I wouldn't want someone calling me a socialist."
"I'm not one," she said.
Matthews asked her twice again what the difference was but Clinton spoke over him.
"I'm a progressive Democrat who likes to get things done and who believes that we are better off in this country when we're trying to solve problems together. Getting people to work together. There will always be strong feelings and I respect that, from, you know, the far right, the far left, libertarians, whoever it might be, but we need to get people working together. We've got to get the economy fixed, we've got to get all of our problems, you know, really tackled and that's what I want to do," Clinton said.
Matthews saw through Clinton's veiled answer and pointed out that Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz could also not answer as well.
In a July interview, Matthews asked Wasserman Schultz what the difference was between her party and a socialist. She was speechless.
"What’s the big difference between being a Democrat and being a socialist?" Matthews said. "You’re the chairwoman of the Democratic Party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist."
"The relevant debate that we’ll be having over the course of this campaign is what’s the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican," Wasserman-Schultz repeated.