MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is facing calls to resign after he compared Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucus to the Nazi invasion of France. Sanders won the Nevada Democratic caucuses with 47 percent of the vote, the Associated Press reported.
As the results came in and Sanders took an early lead on Saturday night, Hardball host Matthews claimed Republicans would release opposition research on Sanders that would “kill him” if he became the Democratic nominee for president. But Matthews said it was “too late” to stop him, at one point comparing Sanders’ victory over other top Democratic contenders to Hitler’s invasion of France.
“I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940 and the general, Reynaud, calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over.’ And Churchill says, ‘How can that be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.'”
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His comments sparked a backlash on Twitter, with some critics noting that is was particularly distasteful as Sanders is Jewish and had lost relatives during the Holocaust.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that Matthews is making comparisons between Bernie Sanders, whose family was murdered by Nazis, to Nazis. @HardballChris needs to retire. Immediately,” Media Matters editor-at-large Parker Molloy wrote.
Reporter Alex Kotch added, “I’m really, really insulted by a major pundit on an allegedly liberal news network comparing a Jewish candidate’s overwhelming caucus victory to the French losing a battle with the Nazis. “Get this lunatic off the air.”
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Kotch also noted that another MSNBC anchor, Chuck Todd, recently quoted an article on air that compared Sanders’ supporters to members of Hitler’s Nazi militia.
“Not long ago Chuck Todd read a line from a writer that compared Sanders supporters to [Nazi] brownshirts,” he wrote. “Why the f*** is this tolerated? These deranged maniacs are shaping public opinion. It’s really bad!”
“Chris Mathews has been generous to me on a number of occasions, even blurbing my book,” filmmaker Arun Chaudhary wrote. “However, his constant references to political violence and today Nazism to describe Bernie Sanders campaign is beyond the pale. @HardballChris must resign or be fired [email protected]”
Walker Bragman, a journalist, added, “[email protected] just compared Bernie Sanders and his movement to Hitler and the Nazis on national television,” he wrote.
“Sanders, who is Jewish and lost family in the Holocaust, is on track to be the nation’s first Jewish president. Enough with this. Matthews should not be on the air.”
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Krishan Patel added, “Chris Matthews just compared Bernie Sanders, a Jewish man whose relatives were killed by the Nazis, to the Nazi army. He should be fired immediately.”
Sanders’ communications director, Mike Casca, also took to Twitter to respond to Matthews’ comment.
“Never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the nazis to the third reich,” he wrote. “But here we are.”
MSNBC and Sanders’ team have been contacted for comment.
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