Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders closed out his third-ish victory in the Democratic primary (while he won the popular vote in Iowa, he lost the delegate to Pete Butigieg) on Saturday with 46% of the vote, securing a 25-point margin of victory in Nevada.
Not everyone was cheering the independent turned democratic-socialist though. MSNBC’s Chris Mathews, host of Hardball, compared Bernie Sanders’ victory to the Nazi invasion of France in 1940, which has sparked widespread cries from social media for the longstanding host to resign.
During MSNBC’s live coverage of the Nevada Caucus’s results, Mathews said, “I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940.” He added, “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.'”
On its face, the statement seemed relatively harmless. The commentator, who identifies as a democrat, has been a long standing critic of Bernie Sanders and the direction he’s taking the Democratic Party.
However, Sanders, an ethnically Jewish man, had most of his family killed in the Holocaust, so many people across social media came out of the woodwork to criticize Mathew’s statement.
Mike Casca, Sanders 2020 campaign Communications Director was one of the closest to the Senator to fire back on Twitter saying, “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.”
Casca wasn’t the only one to sound off against Mathews.
Looking at the context of the quote, it’s more than clear Mathews is not insinuating Sanders is of like mind to the Nazi party, to any extent. While the comparison may not have been the brightest, it was referencing the Sanders campaign unstoppable sweeps throughout early contests and the increasing likelihood of those victories extending into Super Tuesday and beyond.