MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Hails 'The Year of the Bern'

October 5th, 2015 3:52 PM

Monday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough discussed Bernie Sanders and how strange it is the crowds he draws, and young people in particular. Brzezinski brought up the 20,000 person crowd in Boston, and how that was the largest crowd in the Convention and Exhibition Center. Scarborough pointed out that this was double what then-Senator Barack Obama brought in to the same venue in 2008.

As Brzezinski asked, “Is he a celebrity and I just missed it?” Followed by this confusion, Brzezinski referenced the still photograph of the crowds outside the venue, and how they watched the speech in the overflow area, saying, “You would think that's a Taylor Swift concert.”

Scarborough later, after some analysis of Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live, would state that Hillary’s flip-flopping is the “perfect contrast with Bernie Sanders whose been saying the same thing since 1962.” Scarborough would point out that this problem is happening with Donald Trump on the Republican side, but would state “This is the year of the Bern.” Brzezinski would follow up in agreement with Scarborough, echoing “It's the year of the Bern.”

Then, Scarborough and Brzezinski threw a question over to Kristin Soltis Anderson, author of the book The Selfie Vote. Anderson would discuss the desire in young voters for authentic and fresh candidates, wanting to hear different ideas. She addressed how Clinton’s recent statements are seen as recent, while Sanders has been of those ideas for several decades. On the paradox of fresher, but older ideas, Brzezinski stated the following, “He’s a young, fresh, shiny, kind of penny. Exactly, that’s what I think of.”

Finally, Nicholas Confessore of The New York Times brought up that part of the authenticity campaign of Sanders is his free college tuition program. "Look he's saying free college tuition in a period when everyone is loaded down with college debt." Confessore then brought up Jeb Bush and how Jeb stated "Free stuff is bad for people and no one wants it." Confessore argued that Sanders does believe that "some people do want that free stuff. College especially."

See the relevant transcript below.

2015-10-05 MSNBC Morning Joe

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: It was a record breaking weekend for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. More than 20,000 people turned out to see Sanders speak at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Saturday. Boston Globe reports it's the largest rally for a presidential primary candidate in recent Massachusetts history topping the 10,000 Barack Obama drew to the Boston Common back in 2008. 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: And he doubled it. 

BRZEZINSKI: He doubled it. And I don't, is he a celebrity and I just missed it? It's not a celebrity, it's his message. A few thousand didn't even make it inside. Look at their faces. Watching on screens set up in an overflow area. You would think that's a Taylor Swift concert. 

[Break in Transcript]

JOE SCARBOROUGH: And what a perfect contrast with Bernie Sanders whose been saying the same thing since 1962 and there's a reason why the crowds are out there. And that's because he hasn't been machinating and it's the same problem with Republicans on the Republican side why a lot of these mainstream candidates are getting thrown out of the way. This is the year of the Bern. 

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: It's the Year of the Bern, and what you have on the Republican side, is Donald Trump who has celebrity, using his celebrity to draw crowds to his message or his sense of knowing what the angst of America is and tapping into it. This guy is a Vermont senator in his 70s. 

SCARBOROUGH: But you know, Mark Halperin, talking about Trump on the other side, he’s also been saying the same thing. Donald Trump since 1987. I look at interviews on the Today show.  I know, I’m saying there is a line that goes there and Donald Trump’s message has been the same since 1987. It’s on film, America's getting beaten up. We’re suckers. Whether Japan, China, or Saudi Arabia, our leaders aren't battling for us as much as they should. And it's that consistent message that is obviously drawing people to Trump. At least the big message and to Bernie Sanders. 

MARK HALPERIN: Consistent message over decades, but also neither of them sounds like a conventional politician. They both say things you wouldn’t hear from a politician, on Twitter, at their events both drawing big crowds.  Hillary Clinton’s up here today doing a lot of events, there’s no doubt based on the last 10 public polls she’s behind in New Hampshire. You can talk about various scenarios, we’re not that far away from Iowa and New Hampshire. Biden gets in, Biden doesn’t get in. Whatever scenarios you want. If Hillary Clinton loses to Bernie Sanders, her chances of being the nominee go down, they may go down precipitously. On the Republican side Trump's poll numbers are down a little bit but no one yet has challenged him. No one has made an argument they can get past Trump. This thing is wide open on both sides. 

BRZEZINSKI: So Kristen, I'm going to ask you in just a second about how “The Selfie” vote plays into this, because it looks like there is a lot of millennials in there, but earlier in the day, in Springfield, Massachusetts, Sanders drew a crowd of about 6,000 people. There he addressed the way the media is reacting to last week's announcement that his campaign raised $26 million in the third quarter. 

[Senator Sanders speaking to an audience]

BERNIE SANDERS: They want to know how does it happen, that 650,000 Americans have made over a million contributions in this campaign. So I'm proud to tell you our campaign is a different type of campaign. It is a grassroots campaign designed not only to elect someone to be President of the United States but to build a political movement.

[Break in Transcript]

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Kristen, let’s go to you, we’ve talked about Trump, we’ve talked about Sanders. We’re about to show the Republican polls, but you know Frank Rich had a very interesting article in the New York Magazine, he was talking about how Trump is actually good for the system. People are actually turning in and they’re getting more engaged in the process. I would guess younger voters are paying more attention too. Let’s show that picture, if you have the still outside, of Bernie’s crowd, outside of Bernie’s speech, all the young people. Look at that picture and “The Selfie” vote, you just wonder if Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in this year that everyone is wearing sackcloth and ashes, and ripping their hair out and saying this is worst thing ever for democracy, I wonder if they’re missing the bigger story, that more Americans are getting more engaged because of a celebrity and a true believer that looks like he’s off the Muppets.  Like we use to say Barnicle and Buchanan were the two guys up in the balcony. I wonder if Frank Rich isn’t on to something, that this might be a pretty damn good year for getting engage in this messy process.

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON: Look it’s really easy to stay on message 100% of the time when you believe what you are saying and I think that’s what you are seeing with Bernie Sanders. I don’t think for one second that anyone doubts that he 110% is committed to his message because he's believed it for the last few decades. So the question is, what are young voters looking for? One of the big things is the authenticity. They're not looking for someone who just a couple of years ago maybe decided they want to support gay marriage and maybe about a couple of weeks ago decided they want to take this position on the Keystone Pipeline. That's the core of what might damage Hillary Clinton with young voters giving Bernie Sanders this boost. Now the question is, there's this other thing young voters are looking for and that’s somebody who’s going to be looking to the future and not the past, and if somebody like a Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump has a message that is something they've been saying for the last few decades, I think there are fair questions to be asked, is this a message suited for the economic challenges of the modern day? It well may be. But I think there are two things the young voters are looking for. Are you authentic and are you fresh? The fact that Bernie Sanders does sound so different is what's enabling this rather, kind of older message to sound fresh.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: He’s a young, fresh, shiny, kind of penny. Exactly, that’s what I think of. 

[Break in Transcript]

JOE SCARBOROUGH: And its because you can't reach millennials, like using 1950s style Madmen advertising and that's, it's authenticity and Bernie rings that bell.

NICHOLAS CONFESSORE: Look he's saying free college tuition in a period when everyone is loaded down with college debt, right?

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: To the point where you can't even move and you can't even actually navigate your future.

CONFESSORE: So Jeb Bush is out there saying, "Free stuff is bad for people and no one wants it." He's saying yes, some people do want that free stuff. College especially, but also he's funny, Sanders. It's hard to believe in this setting, but when you see him on stage, with this kind of dry wit. It's powerful, it goes with the message, he thinks there is a huge con going on in American politics. He's out there against it. It's amazing.