MSNBC's Chris Matthews Warns Democrats Must Stop Trump's Next Justice in Wild Rant: 'I Don’t Think the Party Leadership Can Survive This!’

MSNBC's Chris Matthews became impassioned and combative with Steve Kornacki Wednesday as the pair sparred over Senate Democrats' ability to block President Donald Trump's forthcoming Supreme Court nominee.

Kornacki noted that Democrats have little leverage to block any potential successor to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement Wednesday.

"If you are Democrats sitting there with 49 votes in the Senate and you need to bring over at least one, probably a couple of Republicans to have a chance of knocking this off, what is the best argument or the best tactic that Democrats would have to pick off those Republicans?" Kornacki asked.

"How about survival of the Democratic leadership?" Matthews shot back. "I don't think the leadership could survive this! How can you explain that you couldn't stop it when you had 49 senators and they just have 50? Just a few years ago — look at the way the Republicans played the rules. First of all, they said it took 60 senators to approve a Supreme Court justice back two years ago. Also, that's 60 years. Then they got rid of that with the nuclear option. Then they said we are not going to elect anybody in the year before a presidential election. They denied confirmation hearings or meetings with garland, the Democratic nominee of President Obama."

All of this, Matthews said, means the Democratic voters will be furious if Trump nominates another justice. However, while he seemed certain that fury would be directed toward Democrats and party leadership, Kornacki insisted that the party lacks any procedural methods to stop a confirmation.

"Chris, I think what I'm trying to get to the bottom of with you is this: If every Democrat adopts the posture you are talking about, fights this and stand together they have got 49 votes," Kornacki said. "They lose!"

If the voters recognize Kornacki's point, it's possible that they'll take their anger out on Trump and the Republicans at the voting booth. But Matthews may also be right — it may inspire voters to demand new leadership within the Democratic party as well.

"You don't understand. They will be blamed," Matthews said.

Watch the clip below:

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