By Elaine Magliaro
Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri was up bright and early talking with Mika Brzezinski and squinty-eyed Joe Scarborough on MSNBC this morning. Poor Claire appeared a bit miffed because she thinks that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is getting “a pass” from the news media. She said, “I very rarely read in any coverage of Bernie that he’s a socialist.” McCaskill said that Sanders was “too liberal” and claimed that he had an “extreme message.”
McCaskill believes that the media is “giving presidential candidate Bernie Sanders too much credit because of its hunger for a competitive primary race.” She said, “I think everybody wants a fight and they are not giving the same scrutiny to Bernie Sanders that they are giving to certainly Hillary Clinton and the other candidates.”
Brendan James (TPM) noted that Sanders had recently “received some favorable coverage from outlets like NPR and Bloomberg for his speeches…” He also noted that polls showed “nearly a quarter of likely Democratic primary voters support him in states Iowa and New Hampshire.”
The senator from Missouri argued that “Clinton’s poll numbers are so high that it’s hard to understand the media’s attitude of, ‘oh, Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!’” She added, “I think Bernie is too liberal to gather enough votes in this country to become President, and I think Hillary Clinton is gonna be a fantastic President.”
When Brzezinski pointed out that Sanders was drawing large crowds and gaining in certain polls, McCaskill responded, “Well, um, you know, Rand Paul’s father got massive crowds, Ron Paul. Pat Buchanan got massive crowds.” She continued, “It’s not unusual for someone who has an extreme message to have a following, and massive is relative.”
Ali Elkin (Bloomberg) said that “McCaskill’s read on the situation comes as two new Bloomberg polls show the Vermont senator, a self-described socialist seeking the Democratic nomination, gaining on the former secretary of state in New Hampshire and Iowa.”
McCaskill admitted that “Sanders has a message that is touching people’s frustration”—then added that Hillary Clinton did too. She predicted that Sanders’s pitfalls would become “very clear” once the media starts treating him like a “serious candidate.”
Ben Kamisar (The Hill) noted that Bernie Sanders was “in the midst of an attempt to outflank Clinton on the left with a largely populist economic platform.” He said that Sanders has “drawn within 12 percentage points in some polls in New Hampshire and continues to gain steam, but he’s still well behind Clinton.”
McCaskill believes Sanders’s liberal message puts him too far away from the center to win a general election, specifically pointing out his views on expanding entitlements and against President Obama’s signature trade deal.
Oh, yeah, Claire, do tell us more about that great “signature trade deal”—also known to many as NAFTA on steroids.
BTW, Claire, lots of us folks are aware that Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist. He readily admits to being one.
McCaskill: The Media Is Giving Bernie Sanders ‘A Pass’
McCaskill: Media giving Sanders a free pass (The Hill)