Republicans want to boost Bernie Sanders so Trump can beat him — but this conservative pundit fears it will backfire
Countless pundits have asserted that President Donald Trump is hoping that Sen. Bernie Sanders will win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination because he believes that a self-described “democratic socialist” would be easier to defeat in the general election than Vice President Joe Biden or former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. But conservative Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis, appearing on CNN this week, asserted that Republicans shouldn’t automatically assume that Sanders would lose to Trump and stressed that the Vermont senator could be a much tougher opponent than Trump thinks.
The Beast, on Monday, published a column by Lewis that was headlined, “The Trumpists Boosting Bernie Sanders Might Get What They Wish For — and Regret It.” Discussing that piece with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, Lewis maintained that Sanders could defy political expectations just as President Ronald Reagan did in 1980 and Trump did in 2016
Lewis told Baldwin, “Democrats thought Ronald Reagan would be easy to beat, right? This actor — he’s too conservative, too old, all those things. He could never get elected. Democrats thought Donald Trump would be easy to defeat for a lot of reasons. And now, Republicans think Bernie Sanders — because he’s a socialist, because he’s old — for a lot of reasons, would be a great person to run against. Not only would it guarantee Donald Trump’s reelection, but it might even give Republicans back the House. And my advice to Republicans is: when it comes to elevating a democratic socialist to the nomination, be careful what you wish for — you might get it.”
Baldwin asked Lewis, “Why should a Sanders nomination actually scare Republicans?” — to which he replied, “If you’re a conservative Republican and you really believe in things like free markets, the idea of elevating a democratic socialist to the Democratic nomination is a really scary and risky idea. Once you become the nominee of a major political party, all bets are off.”
Lewis went on to say, “Do I think that Bernie Sanders would be as likely to win as Joe Biden? No, I don’t think he’d be as likely. I buy the conventional wisdom. But once you’re the nominee, you could win. You have a chance. We saw that with Donald Trump….”
Lewis added, “Just like Ronald Reagan, Bernie Sanders would have a chance…. not only to win, but maybe to dramatically shift the paradigm and shift America in a way that we haven’t seen in a generation.”
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