Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz stumbled badly while being repeatedly pressed on Thursday night by MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews to explain the difference between a Democrat and a socialist.
Matthews, who is an ardent Clinton supporter, began by asking Wasserman Schultz if she wanted presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to speak at the Democratic National Convention, given that he’s a socialist?
Wasserman Schultz responded that he should speak, but was evasive as to whether or not it should be in primetime. She said that “he should speak in a slot where the appeal that he has ‘across the board’—the progressive, populist message that he has…Absolutely that should be featured.”
That’s when Matthews hit Wasserman Schultz with the question that stumped her.
Matthews: What’s the difference between a Democrat and a socialist? I used to think there was a big difference. What do you think it is?
Wasserman Schultz: The more important question should be what’s the difference between a Republican and a Democrat?
Unsatisfied, Matthews pressed her again.
“You’re the chairman of the Democratic Party. Tell me what’s the difference between you and a socialist.”
Wasserman Schultz once again avoided giving an answer by saying that the relevant debate will be on the differences between Democrats and Republicans.
Sanders entry into the race has vexed the Democrats, as he has drawn large crowds of enthusiastic supporters and connected with voters, unlike Clinton. She has stumbled badly in recent polls, making Democrats nervous that she isn’t as invincible as they had previously thought, and that her election as president isn’t inevitable.