Bernie Bristles as Even NBC Liberal Seth Meyers Labels Him ‘Very Left’

Appearing on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers Thursday night, aired early Friday morning, Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders objected to the friendly liberal talk show host accurately labeling him as “very left.” The 2020 presidential candidate denied that any of his extreme views were left-wing and even attacked the media for supposedly making it a “bigger deal” than it should be.

Leading off the softball exchange, Meyers noted that “a lot has changed” since Sanders last ran for president and pointed out: “One thing that’s changed is the party has moved more to the left.” Sanders assured Meyers that his ideas, “which at that time were thought to be crazy, and extreme, and radical, are now supported by a considerable majority of the American people.”

 

 

Meyers touted the amount of leftist competition Sanders would have this time around:

A lot of those issues obviously distinguished you from the competition last time. One of the successes is you now have convinced a lot of the people that are running against you. Do you ever want to say – because a lot of them are obviously friends or colleagues –  do you ever want to say, “Hey, this is kind of my – Medicare-for-all, that’s kind of my thing.” Or are you happy that it is now a consensus?

Sanders replied: “Look, nobody, you know – nobody – no one person can do it alone. So, we need a lot of voices out there.”

In a second segment with the socialist lawmaker following a commercial break, Meyers fretted: “A lot of pundits, some people who are already running, are warning about this idea that if the Democratic Party goes too far left, that will enable a Trump victory because people in the center will flee to him out of fear of the left.” Sanders rejected the notion: “No, I strongly disagree with that.”

Minutes later, Meyers applauded Sanders for labeling Trump a “pathological liar”: “I heard you say, you know, one thing you might do, because obviously you’re running, as you’ve established, [against] a pathological liar, as we try to establish every night. You – I’ve heard the joke you’re gonna bring a lie detector on stage but – at a debate.”

However, he still worried: “But in reality, how do you run against someone who – obviously, you’re very left. You must be aware that Donald Trump would paint you as even farther left than that.”

A frustrated Sanders interrupted:

You know, Seth, here’s the – I never use the word “left.” I don’t – I am. I’m a Democratic socialist, so that’s the way it is. But the issues that we talk about, is it left to say that in this country we should have minimum wage that is a living wage? Is it left to say that everybody should have health care as a right?...Is it left to say that we have to address the crisis of climate change or that we have to deal with criminal justice reform or immigration reform? We have to deal with sexism, racism, and homophobia. I don’t think those are left issues.

The Senator then accused the media of treating him unfairly: “You know, I think sometimes the media makes a bigger deal about it.”

When mildly challenged on his plan for government-run health care during a recent interview on CBS This Morning, Sanders instructed co-host John Dickerson: “I need you in the media to help us explain the truth.”

Clearly Sanders has become so accustomed to media adulation that he has difficulty handling basic questions about his radical ideology, even from press allies like Meyers.

Here are excerpts of the Late Night interview, aired early on the morning of March 1:

12:56 AM ET

SETH MEYERS: Our first guest tonight is the United States Senator from Vermont. He recently announced his candidacy for President of the United States. Please welcome back to the show, Senator Bernie Sanders everyone. [Cheers and applause] Welcome back, Senator.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS [I-VT]: Great to be with you.

MEYERS: You know, you were here in 2015 right after you announced, and when you announced that time it was not as big of a deal as it was this time. You were – New York Times put it on A21.

SANDERS: A19.

MEYERS: A19. Oh yeah.

SANDERS: But who’s – who’s counting? [Laughter]

MEYERS: A lot has changed. One thing that’s changed is the party has moved more to the left, and also you – it is a more crowded field. It seems like a lot of people are jumping in here. Do you, having gone through what you went through four years ago, feel more prepared?

SANDERS: I do. And I think what I’m excited about is that many of the ideas that we talked about three or four years ago, which at that time were thought to be crazy, and extreme, and radical, are now supported by a considerable majority of the American people.

(...)

12:59 AM ET

MEYERS: I want to ask this. A lot of those issues obviously distinguished you from the competition last time. One of the successes is you now have convinced a lot of the people that are running against you.

SANDERS: Yeah.

MEYERS: Do you ever want to say – because a lot of them are obviously friends or colleagues –  do you ever want to say, “Hey, this is kind of my – Medicare-for-all, that’s kind of my thing." [Laughter] Or are you happy that it is now a consensus?

SANDERS: Look, nobody, you know – nobody – no one person can do it alone. So, we need a lot of voices out there.

(...)

1:00 AM ET

MEYERS: So many senators running. Obviously, you see them, they are your colleagues. Is it awkward that you all know that you’re all trying to be President? [Laughter]

SANDERS: You know, look – [Laughter]

MEYERS: I’ll take that as a yes.

SANDERS: The short answer is yes.

MEYERS: Yeah, okay. Great. [Laughter] That’s human. I would say that’s a human reaction.

(...)

SANDERS: And I think what all of us understand – obviously each and every one of us wants to win the nomination. I certainly do. But I think we all understand that no matter who wins, everybody is gonna rally around that candidate and defeat Donald Trump. That is most important. [Cheers and applause]

MEYERS: That’s nice to hear.

(...)

1:08 AM ET

MEYERS: A lot of pundits, some people who are already running, are warning about this idea that if the Democratic Party goes too far left, that will enable a Trump victory because people in the center will flee to him out of fear of the left.

SANDERS: No, I strongly disagree with that.
                            
(...)

1:11 AM ET

MEYERS: I heard you say, you know, one thing you might do, because obviously you’re running, as you’ve established, [against] a pathological liar, as we try to establish every night. [Laughter] You – I’ve heard the joke you’re gonna bring a lie detector on stage but – at a debate. But in reality, how do you run against someone who – obviously, you’re very left. You must be aware that Donald Trump would paint you as even farther left than that.

SANDERS: You know, Seth, here’s the – I never use the word “left.”

MEYERS: Yup.

SANDERS: I don’t – I am. I’m a Democratic socialist, so that’s the way it is. But the issues that we talk about, is it left to say that in this country we should have minimum wage that is a living wage? Is it left to say that everybody should have health care as a right? That we should expand Social Security because so many of our people can't make it – elderly people – can’t make it on $12,000 to $13,000 a year. Is it left to say that we have to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, and create millions and millions of jobs? Is it left to say that we have to address the crisis of climate change or that we have to deal with criminal justice reform or immigration reform? We have to deal with sexism, racism, and homophobia. I don’t think those are left issues.

You know, I think sometimes the media makes a bigger deal about it. I think, in fact, on all of those issues and more, sensible gun safety legislation, I think you have the strong majority of the American people saying, “Yeah, I agree with that.” And let’s have people in Washington who stand with me rather than just wealthy campaign contributors. That’s kind of what this campaign is about. [Applause]

(...)


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