Issues

MSNBC Panelist to NeverTrumper: If You Can’t Vote Sanders, Trump Isn’t ‘Emergency’ You Say He Is

An MSNBC panelist called out NeverTrumper Steve Schmidt Tuesday for declaring President Donald Trump an "emergency" but expressing strong criticism for 2020 Democratic frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

"If Donald Trump is the emergency you say he is, and the Democratic Party puts forward Bernie Sanders, and you tell me that you can't vote for him, then it seems to me that Donald Trump isn't the emergency that you say he is," liberal professor Eddie Glaude Jr. said after Schmidt recounted the positives of a potential Michael Bloomberg candidacy against the threat of Trump's presidency, proclaiming the former New York City mayor more electable than Sanders.

Schmidt didn't explicitly say he wouldn't vote for Sanders but he lambasted the candidate as a "socialist who honeymooned in the Soviet Union" who "wants to take health care away from 150 million people" and promised a laundry list of free items for voters.

Anchor Stephanie Ruhle bristled at Schmidt's description, saying he wasn't offering "free stuff for everyone."

"Sixty-trillion dollars of new spending that he's called for," Schmidt replied.

"If you want to say 60-trillion dollars, you can say it, but we can't just look at Bernie Sanders and say ‘free stuff for everyone,'" Ruhle said.

"Why not?" Schmidt asked, drawing a glance from Ruhle.

Schmidt left the Republican Party over its embrace of Trump and has emerged as one of the president's strongest critics. He has warned against the Democrats nominating Sanders—who is leading national primary polls—because "the capitalist beats the socialist all days of the week and twice in November."

Sanders may be heartened that Schmidt also repeatedly predicted in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election that Trump would lose, at one point guessing Hillary Clinton could win more than 400 electoral votes.

Other prominent anti-Trump voices who were once aligned with the Republican Party have also expressed strong skepticism about a potential Sanders nomination, saying it would assure a Trump victory.