MSNBC’s Wallace urges Democrats to stop infighting: Trump is ‘the enemy’
MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace called President Trump “the enemy” during the network’s live coverage of the Iowa caucuses, declaring she gets “nauseous” when she sees “Democrats fight amongst themselves.”
The comments came after Wallace’s guests, MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson and Nina Turner, an adviser on Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, argued over applying the term “oligarch” to Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City.
“Can I say something? Jason Johnson is a frequent guest on my show,” said Wallace, a former communications director in the George W. Bush White House. “I think this is a really important debate, and I’m really glad you didn’t let it get boiled down to the use of a word. It is not about a word. Here’s the other — and I understand different views about the system.”
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“The enemy is the guy in the Oval Office who thinks there are good people on both sides in Charlottesville,” said Wallace, who anchors “Deadline: White House” weekday afternoons on MSNBC. “The enemy is the guy in the Oval Office who got a permission slip to cheat in presidential elections. The enemy is a guy who calls his generals dopes and losers.
“I am nauseous when I see Democrats fight amongst themselves,” she added.
The infighting in the party accelerated on Friday after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced it was removing the fundraising threshold from its debate qualifications it had used for the seven previous debates, providing Bloomberg the opportunity to take the stage at a Democratic debate in Nevada.
The backlash from other 2020 presidential campaigns was swift following the announcement, with Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver describing it as “the definition of a rigged system.”
“Let’s make one thing clear: changing the rules now to accommodate Mike Bloomberg and not changing them in the past to ensure a more diverse debate stage is just plain wrong,” billionaire businessman Tom Steyer said in a statement. “The Democratic Party should be doing everything possible to ensure a diverse field of candidates. Instead, they are changing the rules for a candidate who is ignoring early states voters and grassroots donors.”
“Do you think Mike Bloomberg is an oligarch?” asked “Hardball” host Chris Matthews.
“He is,” Turner retorted. “He skipped Iowa. Iowans should be insulted. Buying his way into this race, period. The DNC changed the rules. They didn’t change it for Sen. [Kamala] Harris. They didn’t change it for Sen. [Cory] Booker. They didn’t change it for Secretary [Julián] Castro.”
Johnson called the oligarch comparison “unfair and unreasonable.”
“Calling Mike Bloomberg an oligarch has implications in this country that I think are unfair and unreasonable,” Johnson said. “I disagree with a lot of things Mike Bloomberg has done as a mayor. Oligarchy in our particular terminology makes you think of a rich person who got their money off of oil in Russia, who is taking advantage of a broken and dysfunctional system.”
“Mike Bloomberg is just a rich guy,” Johnson added. “Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean that you’re an oligarch that abuses power.”