Todd Compares Trump Supporters to Bernie’s Online 'Brownshirt Brigade'

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Just two days after a man drove a van through a group of Trump supporters registering people to vote in Florida, MTP Daily host and NBC political director Chuck Todd took a vicious swipe at Trump’s backers, which he noted were gathering just across the street for a rally, by comparing them to the Nazi Brownshirts who enforced Adolf Hitler’s rule.

The smear came in the midst of their horse race coverage of the New Hampshire primary and just after Todd read a piece from the Never-Trump Bulwark publication, which actually targeted Senator Bernie Sanders’s supporters with the same description:

CHUCK TODD: And want to bring up something Jonathan Lass put in the Bulwark today and about how – And Ruth, we have all been on the receiving end of the Bernie online brigade, and here’s what he says. He says, “No other candidate has anything like this sort of digital Brownshirt brigade, I mean, except for Donald Trump. The question no one is asking is this, what if you can't win the presidency without an online mob? What if we now live in a world where having a bullying, agro, social media army running around popping anyone who sticks their head up, is either an important ingredient for or a critical marker of success?”

I know everybody's freaking out this but you saw the MAGA rally that preparing around here. There are people coming from three or four states on that. That’s real – you know -- This is like Bernie,” Todd added as he turned to Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus.

Marcus offered no pushback to the smear, just a lament of how “that is a really depressing sentence that you just read.”

 

 

From there, most of the liberal panel took turns chiding Sanders’s base. For her part, Marcus noted how Sanders supporters had heckled former Mayor Pete Buttigieg at a dinner. “This is the makings of an ugly primary season coming ahead of us and the makings of a potentially really ugly general election campaign,” she warned.

University of New Hampshire Professor Dante Scala feared for what the Democratic Convention would look like if Bernie could be perceived to be in the lead in some way:

DANTE SCALA (University of New Hampshire Professor): Yeah, and I think the question becomes, what if we get to the convention and Bernie Sanders does not have anywhere near a majority but he has a plurality? He has 35, 37 percent of the delegates and he goes to the convention and says, “I won more primaries than anyone else, I have more delegates than anyone else, I dare you to deny me the nomination on super delegates.

NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent and anchor Andrea Mitchell longed for the days of the shady super delegate system the Democrats implemented at the convention. “You don't have the members of Congress who would be the elders. I mean, that was exactly the reform that the Bernie Sanders people demanded,” she bemoaned.

Not seemingly speaking about a particular candidate’s online supporters, MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson suggested they “attack like a pack of dogs.” Though, he did seem to try to defuse Todd’s comments by defending their passion as “the intensity with which people already support who they already like.”

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

MSNBC’s MTP Daily
February 10, 2020
5:09:37 p.m. Eastern

CHUCK TODD: And want to bring up something Jonathan Lass put in the Bulwark today and about how – And Ruth, we have all been on the receiving end of the Bernie online brigade, and here’s what he says. He says, “No other candidate has anything like this sort of digital brownshirt brigade, I mean, except for Donald Trump. The question no one is asking is this, what if you can't win the presidency without an online mob? What if we now live in a world where having a bullying, agro, social media army running around popping anyone who sticks their head up, is either an important ingredient for or a critical marker of success?”

ANDREA MITCHELL: Wow.

TODD: I know everybody's freaking out this but you saw the MAGA rally that preparing around here. There are people coming from three or four states on that. That’s real – you know -- This is like Bernie.

RUTH MARCUS: That is a really depressing sentence that you just read. And but, we saw a little bit of this at the state party Democratic dinner Saturday night, where Pete Buttigieg was talking about how it's not -- you can't always have a revolution and the Bernie supporters there, who had great flashing purple signs, starting to chant “Wall Street Pete, Wall Street Pete.” This is the makings of an ugly primary season coming ahead of us and the makings of a potentially really ugly general election campaign.

TODD: This is the part of the campaign that we never had to worry about four years ago.

DANTE SCALA (University of New Hampshire Professor): Yeah, and I think the question becomes, what if we get to the convention and Bernie Sanders does not have anywhere near a majority but he has a plurality? He has 35, 37 percent of the delegates and he goes to the convention and says, “I won more primaries than anyone else, I have more delegates than anyone else, I dare you to deny me the nomination on super delegates.

MITCHELL: You don’t have super delegates anymore

MARCUS: On the first ballot.

TODD: On the first ballot.

MITCHELL: At least on the first ballot. You don't have the members of Congress who would be the elders. I mean, that was exactly the reform that the Bernie Sanders people demanded.

JASON JOHNSON: I want to say this about the online army. Again, we’ve all been victimized and encouraged and responded to. You say one word --

TODD: You say one critical word of Sanders.

JOHNSON: They dig through everything and they sort of attack like a pack of dogs. Here’s the thing, those people—and I’ve never been the person who says Twitter is not real. Twitter is real, but a lot of those people are actual people.

TODD: 70 percent of the country.

JOHNSON: They are sort of talking to home but the vast majority of Americans aren't on Twitter arguing about these things. What I will say about Twitter is, no one in the history of Twitter has ever been convinced of anything. You go on Twitter because you already feel some way and you just want to argue with other people. So, I don't necessarily think that's indicative of anything other than the intensity with which people already support who they already like.

(…)

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