The Slatest

NBC Host to Bernie Sanders: Isn’t Your Superdelegate Strategy a Bit Hypocritical?

Bernie Sanders gestures while speaking to his supporters on May 27, 2016 in the San Pedro port district of Los Angeles, California, ahead of the June 7 California vote. 

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The host of NBC’s Meet the Press did not mince words when Bernie Sanders was a guest on his show today, directly saying that it sounded like his strategy to win over superdelegates was a bit “hypocritical.” Chuck Todd made the comment after Sanders said he saw “three paths to victory” that would allow him to become the Democratic Party nominee for president. As far as Sanders is concerned this would be the three-pronged strategy that would allow him to beat Hillary Clinton:

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  1. Get to the convention with more pledged delegates than Clinton, which he recognized would be “an uphill fight.”
  2. Talk to the superdelegates who represent states where Sanders won a landslide victory to push them to follow their state’s voters.
  3. The “most important point” is talk to the “over 400” superdelegates who threw their support to Clinton “eight months before the first ballot was cast.”

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That’s when Todd thought that something was off:

You’re basically contradicting yourself on the issue of superdelegates in this way: you’re saying you want them to respect the vote in their state, then at the same time, you say, “But oh, by the way, for those of you that are a superdelegate in a state that Clinton won, why don’t you think about the general election?” It’s a little bit hypocritical to be on both sides of those issues.

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Sanders disagreed with that characterization, saying that the key was that he was talking about the superelegates who made a decision to support Clinton before the race had even started. “And all that I am saying is for those superdelegates who came onboard before I was even in the race, you have got the very grave responsibility to make sure that Trump does not become elected president of the United States,” Sanders said. “Vote for the strongest candidate.”

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