Sen. Bernie Sanders cruised to victory in the Nevada caucuses Saturday, heartening his supporters and stoking alarm among moderates who fear he is too liberal and would lose to President Donald Trump.
MSNBC host Chris Mathews, often considered a centrist if not a center-right voice on the channel, stirred controversy comparing Sanders’ victory to the Nazi invasion of France - trying to make the point that it's "too late" to stop him.
"I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940," Matthews said during MSNBC's live coverage of Sanders’ victory on Saturday. "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.'"
The reaction on social media came fast and many online critics called for Mathew’s to be fired. Mike Casca, Sanders' 2020 communications director, wrote, “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.”
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Journalist Alex Kotch wrote, “For once, I'm not being sarcastic here. I'm dead serious. 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.”
While author Arun Chaudhary wrote, “Chris Mathews has been generous to me on a number of occasions, even blurbing my book. 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 from @MSNBC.”