Jake Tapper had an elephant in the room in the form of Bernie Sanders on Sunday's CNN State of the Union and very noticeably avoided addressing his hypocrisy in slamming President Donald Trump for tweeting critically about the living conditions in Baltimore. In 2015, Sanders made very similar remarks as Trump about Baltimore, comparing it to a Third World country filled with hundreds of uninhabitable buildings.
So could Tapper have been unaware of the socialist Senator from Vermont's criticisms of Baltimore? Perhaps but only if he had been hiding under a rock for the past couple of days. The Sanders remarks were highlighted all over the Web such as Breitbart, Fox News, and in much of the social media such as Twitter. The fact that he gave Sanders a pass in failing to bring up his past Baltimore statements is very telling.
Here is the interview in which Tapper allows Sanders to shamelessly slam Trump without being challenged on his own similar statements about the same city.
JAKE TAPPER: Joining me now in Detroit, 2020 presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders. And Senator Sanders, I know you want to talk about issues but I alsowant to talk about what President Trump said about your former colleague in the House, Elijah Cummings and his district being, quote, "a disgusting rat and rodent-infested mess that no human being would want to live in." What is your response?
BERNIE SANDERS: Jake, it's unbelievable that we have a president of the United States that attacks American cities, who attacks Americans, who attacks somebody who is a friend of mine, Elijah Cummings. He is one of the most decent and outstanding members of the house of representatives and fights every day to improve the life in his community. I do find it interesting that when we have rural Republican districts, life expectancy is going down, where downtowns are boarded up and where people are struggling -- and they’re struggling in rural and urban and suburban America, our job is to bring people together, to improve life for all people, not to be a — have a racist president who attacks people because they are African-Americans. That is a disgrace and that is why we’re going to defeat this president.
Even just a brief bit of searching (if they had been willing) by CNN's researchers would have quickly turned up the December 8, 2015 Baltimore Sun article featuring Bernie Sanders slamming their city starting with the headline, "Bernie Sanders likens West Baltimore to 'Third World' country."
Hoping to reach African-American voters nationally in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday toured the West Baltimore neighborhood where Freddie Gray was arrested — and likened the poverty he observed to that of the Third World.
..."Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you're in a wealthy nation," Sanders told reporters later at the Freddie Gray Empowerment Center in Bolton Hill. "You would think that you were in a Third World country."
"But today what we're talking about is a community in which half of the people don't have jobs," he said. "We're talking about a community in which there are hundreds of buildings that are uninhabitable."
The Sun also provided a video of Sanders criticizing living conditions Baltimore.
The good news for Tapper is that he has an opportunity for a quick do-over since he will be moderating the Democrat debates this week in Detroit and could ask Sanders about his Baltimore hypocrisy when he takes the stage on Tuesday. So break out your popcorn (and beer) that evening to see if Tapper finally gets around to challenging Sanders on that point.