If the Democrats are going to retake the White House in November, the entire party will need to be united behind the eventual Democratic nominee.
On Saturday morning, MSNBC’s Joy Reid suggested that Sen. Bernie Sanders is making that work more difficult by framing his campaign as a “hostile takeover” of the Democratic Party instead of a “merger” that brings all factions together to defeat Donald Trump.
“He is presenting what he is doing as a hostile takeover, not a merger with the party that he caucuses with in the Senate,” Reid said during a discussion with DNC chair Tom Perez.
She added, “He is … essentially sort of kicking to the curb 65 million people who voted for Hillary Clinton, Obama Democrats, people who consider themselves lifelong Democrats.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) February 22, 2020
The discussion between Joy Reid and DNC chair Tom Perez:
REID: The man who is leading in most of the polls throughout the country is not only not a registered Democrat, has not registered as a Democrat, has essentially refused to register as a Democrat, and is now tweeted this morning, it’s trending, that the Democratic establishment … will not stop him from getting the nomination. He is presenting what he is doing as a hostile takeover, not a merger with the party that he caucuses with in the Senate. So my question, again, is do you worry, as chairman, as somebody who has dealt with the Sanders team, some of whom voted for Jill Stein and still were allowed to come in and negotiate the rules, do you not worry that if Sanders is denied the nomination, even under rules he agreed to, that there will be civil war in the Democratic Party?
PEREZ: You know what, everybody understands — what is different about 2020, there’s a lot of PTSD about 2016. You know what is different about 2020? Donald Trump and the existential threat to our nation. Every single one of the candidates that were on the debate stage for the NBC/MSNBC debate the other night is ahead of Donald Trump head-to-head in the Washington Post polling, Quinnipiac polling from a week ago. We understand that this is not about any one candidate.
REID: But does everyone understand that? I understand that you’re saying that, but the senator is saying who is an independent and still is a registered independent as far as we know. He is saying this morning, in his own Twitter feed, under his own name, that the Democratic establishment will not stand in his way. Essentially sort of kicking to the curb 65 million people who voted for Hillary Clinton, Obama Democrats, people who consider themselves lifelong Democrats. Is he not one of them? Is he one of them, or is he running against them?
PEREZ: The person who gets 50 percent plus one of the delegates is going to be our next nominee.
Sanders will need more than his hardcore base to beat Trump
In a tweet late Friday, Bernie Sanders said, “I’ve got news for the Republican establishment. I’ve got news for the Democratic establishment. They can’t stop us.”
While his hardcore fans may love this burn-the-party down rhetoric, it’s going to take more than his base – which represents a minority of the Democratic Party – to beat Donald Trump in November.
If Bernie Sanders truly wants to build a coalition to defeat Donald Trump, then he should be trying to expand his appeal to the majority of Democratic voters who support another candidate in the primary race.
Instead, like in 2016, he appears to be plotting a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. That strategy only makes it more likely that Donald Trump will win in November.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.