Howard Dean Promises MSNBC Viewers: Donald Trump Is Just Like Barry Goldwater!

MSNBC political analyst and former Democratic Vermont Governor Howard Dean attempted on two occasions during Wednesday’s Hardball to further the extremely flawed and borderline irresponsible claim that Donald Trump’s candidacy is similar to that of 1964 GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater. 

Host Chris Matthews was discussing Trump’s foreign policy positions and his outspoken opposition to the Iraq War and the Bush administration being less than truthful when Dean jumped into provide the first Goldwater link. 

Hailing Trump as “Barry Goldwater revisited,” Dean opined that Trump “knows nothing about foreign policy” and “mak[es] this stuff as it goes along.” 

Dean added that, in a linkage to Goldwater, he proclaimed that Trump’s “core constituency that got him the Republican nomination is not the same as an American constituency.” Since most Americans “do not vote on foreign policy,” Trump will lose the general election “because he’s too scary.”

The former governor and DNC chair returned to this falsehood three minutes later with the subject still being about “wars” and foreign policy:

Wars start by miscalculation and by making stuff up as you go along. Wars start when you say something you don't mean, when you're too aggressive or not aggressive enough. He has no idea what he's doing. He has no idea what he's doing. He makes Barry Goldwater looks like a statesman in terms of foreign policy.

Shockingly, Corn and Matthews stepped into finally refute Dean’s assertion:

DAVID CORN: Well, Barry Goldwater had an ideology. He had been a senator. He had positions and this guy —

DEAN: But his positions were pretty dangerous. 

CORN: They may have been dangerous, but Goldwater knew what they were.

MATTHEWS: One of the nice things about Goldwater [was] you can like his libertarianism, but his position on the use of nuclear weapons was crazy.

As my colleagues and I have documented in numerous posts since Trump launched his campaign, the comparisons between the billionaire and the one-time Arizona senator simply doesn’t hold water when examining the fact that Goldwater had a firm set of beliefs and planted the seeds of what’s become the modern conservative movement. 

Offenders of this comparison included Fareed Zakaria, Dan Rather, and Tom Brokaw but one such member of the liberal media that sought fit to fight back against this line was Carl Bernstein. On March 17's CNN Tonight, he lashed out at the calls to link Trump to the, in his opinion, wrong but “principled” Goldwater who was a party figure for decades prior to his presidential run.

The relevant portions of the transcript form MSNBC’s Hardball on May 11 can be found below.

MSNBC’s Hardball
May 11, 2016
7:21 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I pay attention to people who made that big discernment. You know what? I think this war is being sold by ideologues and I’m not for it. I don’t care what evidence they pretend to have. They want this war. We go back to the governor. Where is Trump? 

HOWARD DEAN: Well, here's where Trump is. Trump is taking his weakness and trying to make it into a strength. This is — this is what’s going to cost Trump the election at the end of the day. This is Barry Goldwater revisited. He knows nothing about foreign policy. He's making this stuff as it goes along. His core constituency that got him the Republican nomination is not the same as an American constituency. Most people do not vote on foreign policy. They do vote on whether the candidate is erratic or not and Trump is going to get a lot of votes because he's against the establishment. At the end of the day, he loses because he's too scary.

(....)

7:24 p.m. Eastern

DEAN: Wars start by miscalculation and by making stuff up as you go along. Wars start when you say something you don't mean, when you're too aggressive or not aggressive enough. He has no idea what he's doing. He has no idea what he's doing. He makes Barry Goldwater looks like a statesman in terms of foreign policy.

DAVID CORN: Well, Barry Goldwater had an ideology. He had been a senator. He had positions and this guy —

DEAN: But his positions were pretty dangerous. 

CORN: They may have been dangerous, but Goldwater knew what they were.

MATTHEWS: One of the nice things about Goldwater [was] you can like his libertarianism, but his position on the use of nuclear weapons was crazy. He said leave it up the generals when to use nuclear weapons.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Labeling Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press Chris Matthews David Corn Howard Dean Donald Trump Barry Goldwater
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