A former advisor to the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Steve Schmidt, joined the chorus of pundits warning the Democrats against straying too far to the left in the general election, saying that in a race against President Donald Trump “a sociopath will always beat a socialist.”
Appearing on MSNBC, where he is a paid contributor, before Wednesday night’s debate, Schmidt, who abandoned the Republican Party in 2018 because of its embrace of Trump, called the 2020 vote one of the most consequential in U.S. history.
Steve Schmidt, fresh off being a paid consultant to Howard Schultz, says before the Democratic debate that "a sociopath will beat a socialist I think seven days a week and twice on Sunday" before touting Trump's ability to demagogue. pic.twitter.com/zoLL2H8js0— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) November 21, 2019
“The Trump presidency is an emergency for the country. I think there is no higher issue than his removal from office. And that calls for a candidate who has the ability to assemble the broadest, widest possible political coalition,” he said.
“I do think that there is a danger when you look at some of the ideology that we have seen front and center in this field,” Schmidt added. “Remember, that in America, a sociopath will beat a socialist, I think, seven days a week and twice on Sunday.”
Several pundits and politicians have openly worried about the leftward drift of the Democratic party so far in the primaries, citing Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) proposal to nationalize the U.S. healthcare system as one example.
Even former Democratic President Barack Obama chimed in last week when he warned an audience of prominent Democrats against listening too closely “certain left-leaning Twitter feeds” or “the activist wing of our party.”
During post-mortem coverage of the debate, Schmidt — who managed McCain’s 2008 campaign against Obama — also raised eyebrows by confronting candidate Tulsi Gabbard for what he called a “dishonest” performance and “extreme” positions, as well as for her decision to meet with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Gabbard, who has served in Congress for seven years, responded that she has met with leaders around the world because of her positions on the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees.