In response to prominent Democratic strategist James Carville sounding the alarm on the party’s hard move to the far-left, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) denounced the distinguished Clinton-era adviser as a “political hack.”
“Look, James, in all due respect, is a political hack who said very terrible things when he was working for Clinton against Barack Obama,” Sanders told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night.
“We are taking on the establishment. This is no secret to anybody…,” he said. “The insurance companies don’t like me, the pharmaceutical industry, which is charging us ten times more for the same drugs they sell in Canada, they don’t like me either, nor does the fossil fuel industry, because their product happens to be destroying our planet, nor does military-industrial complex or prison-industrial complex. We are taking on Trump, the Republican establishment, Carville, and the Democratic establishment.”
“At the end of the day the grassroots movement we are putting together of young people, of working people, of people of color, want real change,” added Sanders.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hits back after criticism from James Carville, calling the Democratic strategist “a political hack.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 13, 2020
Carville’s warning about the Democratic Party’s lurch toward extremism made headlines last week when he told Vox that he was “scared to death” of the upcoming election following the disastrous Iowa caucus.
“Look, the turnout in the Iowa caucus was below what we expected, what we wanted. Trump’s approval rating is probably as high as it’s been,” said Carville. “This is very bad. And now it appears the party can’t even count votes. What the hell am I supposed to think?”
“I’ll just say it this way: The fate of the world depends on the Democrats getting their s**t together and winning in November,” Carville continued. “We have to beat Trump. And so far, I don’t like what I see. And a lot of people I talk to feel the same way.”
Carville could not understand how the party could do so well in the 2018 mid-terms by running reasonably moderate candidates and then go so far into extremism just two years later.
“We have candidates on the debate stage talking about open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration,” Carville said. “They’re talking about doing away with nuclear energy and fracking. You’ve got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells. It doesn’t matter what you think about any of that, or if there are good arguments — talking about that is not how you win a national election.”
“There’s no chance in hell we’ll ever win the Senate with Sanders at the top of the party defining it for the public,” he added.
Shortly thereafter, Carville doubled-down on his attacks against Sanders and specifically denounced the “cult” that seems to have built up around him.
“The only thing, the only thing between the United States and the abyss is the Democratic Party. That’s it. If we go the way of the British Labour Party, if we nominate Jeremy Corbyn, it’s going to be the end of days. … So I am scared to death, I really am,” Carville said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“If we lose that, we’re going to be the British Labour Party and be out in some theoretical left-wing la-la land,” he continued. “There’s a certain part of the Democratic Party that wants us to be a cult. I’m not interested in being in a cult. I’m 75 years old. I’m just not a very cult-y person. Some people in this country want a revolution, they want disruption. I don’t know — they scream at people, they go and bully people. I don’t know how you win an election like that, 78 years old standing up screaming at a microphone about revolution. But you gotta’ give people an alternative.”