Chuck Todd to Pete Buttigieg: You 'Out of Touch' By NOT Being a Socialist?

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Socialism came up in Wednesday’s Democratic debate, but co-moderator Chuck Todd wondered if Pete Buttigieg was out of touch by NOT being a socialist. He even grilled billionaire Michael Bloomberg on whether his wealth was “obscene” and “should you have earned that money?” 

Talking to the millennial Buttigieg, the NBC journalist demanded, “I want to get you in on this. In 2000, you wrote an award-winning essay. You praised Senator Sanders. You specifically praised him for embracing socialism. You have now since said you're concerned about his policies. But I am curious about this: Are you out of touch with your own generation? Millennials by a big chunk embracing his version of democratic socialism. You do not. Are you out of touch with your generation?” 

 

 

After noting that Bernie Sanders had said that billionaires “shouldn’t exist,” Todd jovially asked, “Mayor Bloomberg, should you exist?” Trying to offer a serious version of this socialist-friendly question, he added, “Is it too much? Have you earned too much? Has it been an obscene — Should you have earned that much money?” Bloomberg shot back: “Yes. I worked very hard for it.” 

 

 

To MSNBC’s credit, the network eventually got to a version of this question that conservatives would ask. Lester Holt quizzed. 

Senator Sanders, my next question is for you. Senator Sanders, our latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released yesterday. Two-thirds of you a voters said they were uncomfortable with a socialist candidate for president. What do you say to those voters? 

But it was Bloomberg — not the moderators — who pressed Sanders with a real zinger:  “What a wonderful country we have. The best-known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses. What did I miss here?” 

 

 

For more on Chuck Todd’s past debate performances, see this MRC analysis
 

A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.

10:19

CHUCK TODD:  Senator Klobuchar, I want to get to you something about, Senator Sanders tweeted last year, “Billionaires should not exist.” What say you? 

...

10:20

TODD: So, Senator Sanders, what did you mean that you don’t think they should exist? 

10:21

TODD: Mayor Bloomberg, should you exist? 

...

TODD: Is it too much? Have you earned too much? Has it been an obscene — Should you have earned that much money? 

MIKE BLOOMBERG: Yes. I worked very hard for it. 

10:25

LESTER HOLT:  Senator Sanders, my next question is for you. Senator Sanders, our latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released yesterday. Two-thirds of you a voters said they were uncomfortable with a socialist candidate for president. What do you say to those voters? 

...

10:28

HOLT: Vice President Biden, weigh in on this question of Americans' feelings about socialist candidates. 
        
...

10:30

TODD: Mayor Buttigieg, I want to get you in on this. In 2000, you wrote an award-winning essay. You praised Senator Sanders. You specifically praised him for embracing socialism. You have now since said you're concerned about his policies. But I am curious about this: Are you out of touch with your own generation? Millennials by a big chunk embracing his version of democratic socialism. You do not. Are you out of touch with your generation? 

 

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