Megyn Kelly Touts Dem Loser as ‘Obama 2.0,' Urges 2020 Run

During a softball interview with losing 2016 Democratic Senate candidate Jason Kander on Monday, NBC anchor Megyn Kelly declared the Missouri politician to be the “future of Democratic Party” and pressed him on whether he was going to run for president in 2020. She also took time to gush over his anti-gun activism.

“The Democrat was thrust into the limelight with this one video in his race against GOP incumbent Roy Blunt for one of Missouri’s the seats in the U.S. Senate....He lost that race narrowly but did much better than expected in a red state and is now described by some as future of Democratic Party,” Kelly proclaimed at the top of the segment.

 

 

The video she mentioned was a campaign ad that featured Kander, an Afghanistan combat veteran, assembling a rifle while blindfolded. The Democrat explained the purpose of the ad:

So that ad actually was – you know, the NRA, not fond of me, F-rating, proudly actually. But so they were running millions of dollars in TV ads against me. So what I did is I made an ad where I said, “Look, the NRA is wrong, I’m right, and I know what the heck I’m talking about.” Obviously people liked the ad, but I’ve tried to continue with that platform.

Kelly praised him: “But it was an interesting approach because you sort of hit the NRA where they usually come after people, which is, you do know a thing or two about guns.”

She then teed up Kander – who again lost his Senate race – to offer advice to his fellow Democrats on how to win: “What did you do in this red state that Hillary Clinton didn’t. Like how did you keep it so tight and what is the lesson in there for other Democrats?”

He replied with this keen political analysis:

You know, I think the lesson above all is don’t try to act. Like you’re in politics, you’re not an actor, right?...And what I found in my campaigns, I won a statewide race in Missouri, I came very close in 2016. Heck, in 2016, I outperformed, you know, our ticket and got a lot of voters, 220,000 voters who also voted for Trump, even though the only thing he and I agree on is we’re both afraid of sharks....But it’s because people could see that I was saying, “Look, this is what I really believe.”

Kelly responded by urging him to run against President Trump in 2020: “...so why aren’t you planning on taking him on in 2020? Because now you’re running for mayor, which seems not good enough.” Kander, who is currently running for mayor of Kansas City, dodged the question. Kelly pressed: “It’s no offense to Kansas City, but the Democrats are saying you are Barack Obama 2.0 and they’re not happy that you’re going for mayor.”

Kander stuck to his talking points: “It’s very flattering. I love my hometown. Kansas City has enjoyed a lot of progress lately, but I want to make sure that Kansas City – like everyone in the city can feel that progress....I can do everything I can for my hometown. And that’s what I want to do.”

Kelly was skeptical: “I don’t know. I’m not convinced. I think you’re still gonna go for it. We’ll find out.” Kander assured her: “I’m not....I want to be the mayor of Kansas City, I’m excited about it.” Kelly followed up: “So who do you like for 2020 on the Democratic side?” Kander dodged again: “You know, I really want us to focus on 2018, which is what anybody who sits in this chair will say.”

In addition to talking politics, Kander was also on the program to promote his new book, the proceeds of which he promised would be given to anti-gun groups: “So actually between now and Saturday, every copy that is sold of Outside the Wire, my wife and I are making a contribution to Moms Demand Action and Every Town for Gun Safety.”

Kelly’s celebration of Kander as “Barack Obama 2.0" despite his electoral defeat echoed an absurd 2017 Politico article entitled, How Jason Kander Won by Losing.

Here is a full transcript of Kelly’s August 6 interview with Kander on Megyn Kelly Today:

9:52 AM ET

MEGYN KELLY: In Today’s Spotlight, 37-year-old combat veteran Jason Kander. The Democrat was thrust into the limelight with this one video in his race against GOP incumbent Roy Blunt for one of Missouri’s the seats in the U.S. Senate. Look at him, see him there, blindfolded assembling a gun. He lost that race narrowly but did much better than expected in a red state and is now described by some as future of Democratic Party. And he is author of the new book, Outside the Wire: Ten Lessons I’ve Learned In Every Day Courage. Jason, welcome, thank you for being here.

JASON KANDER: Thank you for having me. [Cheers and applause]

KELLY: So you’re this combat vet who decides to run for U.S. Senate against long-time incumbent, I mean, considered, you know, not beatable, Roy Blunt.

KANDER: He had been in office nine years longer than I had been alive.

KELLY: Right. [Laughter]

KANDER: One office or another, yeah.

KELLY: And why did you do that thing with the gun blindfolded?

KANDER: So that ad actually was – you know, the NRA, not fond of me, F-rating, proudly actually. But so they were running millions of dollars in TV ads against me. So what I did is I made an ad where I said, “Look, the NRA is wrong, I’m right, and I know what the heck I’m talking about.” Obviously people liked the ad, but I’ve tried to continue with that platform.

So for instance, to advance the argument for common-sense gun reform. So actually between now and Saturday, every copy that is sold of Outside the Wire, my wife and I are making a contribution to Moms Demand Action and Every Town for Gun Safety. Because I want to continue in that fight for common-sense gun reform.

KELLY: But it was an interesting approach because you sort of hit the NRA where they usually come after people, which is, you do know a thing or two about guns.

KANDER: Yeah, I know.

KELLY: You’re not completely anti-gun, you served our country in Afghanistan, you understand the value of a rifle, but are still a strong Democrat who has points to make on common-sense gun control or safety.

What did you do in this red state that Hillary Clinton didn’t. Like how did you keep it so tight and what is the lesson in there for other Democrats?

KANDER: You know, I think the lesson above all is don’t try to act. Like you’re in politics, you’re not an actor, right? And so, I’m not a good actor, so I never try. And that’s like – I have a whole lesson in Outside the Wire that’s just called “Keep it real.” And the whole idea is that, look, people are not going to buy your argument if they can tell that you’re just saying it because you think it’s what they believe. Like, you have to try and actually convince people. And what I found in my campaigns, I won a statewide race in Missouri, I came very close in 2016. Heck, in 2016, I outperformed, you know, our ticket and got a lot of voters, 220,000 voters who also voted for Trump, even though the only thing he and I agree on is we’re both afraid of sharks. Like, that’s all I’ve been able to discern. [Laughter]

KELLY: That’s good common ground.

KANDER: Yeah, yeah. But it’s because people could see that I was saying, “Look, this is what I really believe.”

KELLY: That you were authentic. But what – so why aren’t you planning on taking him on in 2020? Because now you’re running for mayor, which seems not good enough.

KANDER: I am running for mayor. Well, I – have you ever been to Kansas City?  

KELLY: It’s no offense to Kansas City, but the Democrats are saying you are Barack Obama 2.0 and they’re not happy that you’re going for mayor.

KANDER: It’s very flattering. I love my hometown. Kansas City has enjoyed a lot of progress lately, but I want to make sure that Kansas City – like everyone in the city can feel that progress. And that’s why I'm running for mayor. I believe, one of the things I write about in the book, is we’re living in grab-an-oar territory.

KELLY: Grab an oar.

KANDER: Yeah, like do everything you can right now. What I can do in my hometown, where I’m fifth generation, is I can do everything I can for my hometown. And that’s what I want to do.

KELLY: I don’t know. I’m not convinced. I think you’re still gonna go for it. We’ll find out.

KANDER: I’m not.

KELLY: You definitely not going?

KANDER: I want to be the mayor of Kansas City, I’m excited about it.

KELLY: So who do you like for 2020 on the Democratic side?

KANDER: You know, I really want us to focus on 2018, which is what anybody who sits in this chair will say.

KELLY: Just give me a name.

KANDER: But let me tell you why.

KELLY: No, no, give me a name because we only have ten seconds.

KANDER: I’ll give you what I’m looking for, which is, I want somebody, just like I write in the book, who will go out and just not try to act and be themselves. The highest compliment you can get in politics is “you seem comfortable in your own skin.” Nobody ever says, “I like my accountant because he’s a regular guy,” it’s just a politician compliment.  

KELLY: Jason Kander, thank you. [Cheers and applause] The book is Outside the Wire: Ten Lessons I’ve Learned In Everyday Courage.

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