CNN anchor Chris Cuomo on Thursday gushed over socialist Bernie Sanders, wondering what it feels like to have thousands “shouting your name?” The New Day anchor, who previously bashed Marco Rubio for “backward-looking” positions, fawned to Sanders: “To be here tonight with tens of thousands of young people shouting your name, believing in you, what does it mean, from where you came from and where you are tonight in the same place?”
Hyping the Democrat, Cuomo narrated his biography: “The message matters, but so does the man. Bernie Sanders is from Brooklyn. To be in Washington Square Park, which I know you came to and came through as a kid, as a teen.”
The journalist couldn’t really produce tough questions. Instead, he offered up softballs: “In the crowd tonight, the people were saying the status quo is not enough; incremental change is not enough. Why?”
As though he were offering Sanders talking points, Cuomo introduced, “So he's been going at the political establishment but in a different way, urging bold action, especially for New Yorkers and young ones.”
Speaking of socialists, when Cuomo visited Cuba, he proudly wore a shirt given to his dad from Fidel Castro.
In contrast, the anchor lectures Republicans, such as on August 7, 2015 when he dressed down Marco Rubio for his conservative position on abortion: “To not have a carve-out for rape and incest is also something that seems very backward-looking in terms of the cultural mores that we have today.”
A transcript of the April 14 segment is below:
CUOMO: So Bernie Sanders is certainly striking back at the political — thanks, Joe. Now you tell me. So he's been going at the political establishment but in a different way, urging bold action, especially for New Yorkers and young ones. So we went to this big event he had at the famous Washington Square Park here in New York; and we got to talk to the senator just moments before he took the stage in what may have been his most important rally to date. Here's a sample.
SANDERS: We, in this critical moment in American history, need a vision to address the many crises that we face. It is time to think big. It's time to think boldly. It's time to make this country to become what I think most of us know it can become.
CUOMO: In the crowd tonight, the people were saying the status quo is not enough; incremental change is not enough. Why?
SANDERS: Because the crises are so severe that just moving along little step by little step is not enough.
Look, we've got a middle class that's been declining for 30 years. We have grotesque levels of income and wealth inequality. We have a campaign finance system which is corrupt. We have a criminal justice system which is broken. We have climate change, which is threatening the existence of the very planet, this very planet if we don't transform our energy system. Those are issues of unbelievable consequence. We need bold action now.
CUOMO: The push back is that progress is incremental, and perfection can be the enemy of progress.
SANDERS: That's not what the debate is about, Chris. The debate is about whether we're going to have millions of people starting to exercise their democratic power, stand up and fight back to a political system, which is now controlled by a small number of wealthy campaign contributors. That's really what it's about. Do we go along with the same old, same old establishment politics and establishment economics? Or do we revitalize American democracy, bring millions of people into the process, and start doing what the American people want and not what big money interests want?
CUOMO: The message matters, but so does the man. Bernie Sanders is from Brooklyn. To be in Washington Square Park, which I know you came to and came through as a kid, as a teen.
SANDERS: Yes, yes.
CUOMO: To be here tonight with tens of thousands of young people shouting your name, believing in you, what does it mean, from where you came from and where you are tonight in the same place?
SANDERS: I grew up in Brooklyn in a there-and-a-half-room rent- controlled apartment from a family did not have a lot of money. Standing here tonight with the support of so many thousands of people is a very humbling experience. It's a very, very moving experience, and I'm going to do everything that I can to make sure that I do not let these people down.
CUOMO: They say they want to win here in New York. Polls are trending down. Some still have you between 8 and 13 down. Do you think you can win in New York?
SANDERS: I do. I think, as I've said many times before, we do well when the voter turnout is high. So if there is a large voter turnout, if a lot of working-class people who traditionally might not vote get involved in this campaign, if young people who maybe have never voted before get involved in this campaign and come out and vote, and yes, I think they can win.
CUOMO: Last question. The big test is next Tuesday. The test before the test is tomorrow night, the big debate. There's been a lot of hot talk. What do you expect on that stage tomorrow night? What's going to be different?
SANDERS: I think it will be a good debate in which Secretary Clinton and I discuss the very strong differences of opinion that we have about how we go forward in this country, and if that takes place I will be very happy. And I'm confident that the vision that I am bringing forth is a vision that will be supported by the vast majority of the people in New York.
CUOMO: It will be different than what we've been hearing the last few days?
SANDERS: Well, I'll tell you about it tomorrow.
CUOMO: Senator, thank you very much. Good luck tomorrow night.