MSNBC and Chris Matthews are facing backlash after he compared Bernie Sanders’ win in Nevada to the 1940 Nazi invasion of France.
When asked what he thought of Sanders’ win, Matthews responded, “I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940. 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.’”
It didn’t take long for the backlash to start, including from Sanders’ communication director Mike Casca.
Political analyst Anand Giridharadas also called out Matthews.
“Why is Chris Matthews on this air talking about the victory Bernie Sanders, who had kin murdered in the Holocaust, analogizing it to the Nazi conquest of France?” he said. “People stuck in an old way of thinking, in 20th-century thinking are missing what is going on. It is time for all of us to step up, rethink the dawn of what may be, frankly, a new era in American life.”
Sanders won Nevada with 47 per cent of the vote with 50 per cent of precincts. Former vice-president Joe Biden followed with 19.2 per cent and Pete Buttigieg had 15.3 per cent.
After receiving backlash, Matthews opened his Feb. 24 show with an apology.
“As I watched the one-sided results of Saturday’s Democratic caucus in Nevada, I reached for a historic analogy and used a bad one,” he said. “I was wrong to refer to an event from the last days, or actually the first days, of World War II.”
He then apologized to Sanders, adding, “I’m sorry for comparing anything from that tragic era in which so many suffered, especially the Jewish people, to an electorate result in which you were the well-deserved winner.”
Matthews promised to “strive to do a better job myself” before congratulating Sanders on the “tremendous win down in Nevada.”
Less than a week after his apology, Matthews announced his retirement live on air.
“I’m retiring,” he said on Monday night. He apologized again for his comments and noted how the younger generation is “ready to take the reigns” including how the are “bettering the workplace” and have “fair standards”.
“Comments on a woman’s appearance that some men, including me, once incorrectly thought were okay, were never okay,” he added. “For making such comments in the past, I’m sorry.”
He finished his two-minute farewell with, “Let’s not say goodbye, but until we meet again.”
News of his retirement was met with mixed reviews on Twitter: