The Slatest

Chris Matthews Slammed for Comparing Sanders’ Victory to Nazi Invasion of France

Chris Matthews seated, looking serious, before going on the air, with the NBC News logo on a screen in the background.
Chris Matthews of MSNBC after the Democratic presidential primary debate on Wednesday in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is facing a wave of criticism after he compared Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada presidential caucuses to the Nazi invasion of France in 1940. As the results started rolling in Saturday night, Matthews started talking about how Republicans are gearing up to release lots of opposition research on Sanders that would “kill him” in November but worried it may be too late to stop the senator’s momentum.

“I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940,” Matthews said during the coverage of the caucuses Saturday. “And the general, Reynaud, calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over.’ And Churchill says, ‘How can that be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.’ ”

Many were quick to criticize Matthews for his comparison, blasting the MSNBC host for using a Nazi analogy to refer to Sanders, who is Jewish and had much of his extended family killed in the Holocaust. Some of the pushback came from the Sanders campaign, with spokesman Mike Casca tweeting that he “never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the nazis to the third reich.”

Many others also took to Twitter to express their displeasure with Matthews’ words, with some calling on the host to resign or be fired.

Matthews wasn’t the only one on MSNBC freaking out about the Sanders victory on Saturday, with pundit James Carville criticizing the media for not fully vetting the senator. “I don’t know if us in the media are sufficiently telling people what are the risks that you are running by doing this. I think voters need to really be appraised of what’s going on here. Hopefully, these candidates have the skill and are able to do this,” Carville said. Earlier, Carville said Russia’s Vladimir Putin was likely happy with the results Saturday. “I mean, it’s a straight line. I don’t think the Sanders campaign in any way is collusion or collaboration. I think they don’t like this story, but the story is a fact, and the reason that the story is a fact is Putin is doing everything that he can to help Trump, including trying to get Sanders the Democratic nomination,” Carville said.