Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville sounded the alarm bells on Tuesday night over what he described as the Democratic Party turning into an “ideological cult,” specifically singling out would-be presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
In the wake of Monday night’s chaotic Iowa Democratic caucus that featured delayed vote results due to a faulty app, Carville appeared on MSNBC to warn that regardless of the final tallies, the Dems appear to be in big trouble.
“The polling averages have not been very good the last 10 days,” he sighed. “And I’ve seen some pretty good polls that show enthusiasm among Democrats is not as high as we would like it. So there’s something as people are watching this process that is concerning.”
Saying the party needs to “wake up and make sure that we talk about things that are relevant to people,” the former Clinton adviser grumbled that he is “not very impressed” with the Democratic field and suggested DNC chair Tom Perez should be canned.
After complaining that the campaigns “have to be more relevant,” Carville—who is backing longshot presidential hopeful Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)— was asked if he would get behind Sanders if the progressive senator ended up getting the nomination.
“Well, I’ll get behind him. I have no choice,” an unenthused Carville replied. “But look at the British Labour Party. We’re like talking about people voting from jail cells. We’re talking about not having a border. I mean, come on, people.”
He continued to rail against Sanders’ policy positions, describing the independent Vermont lawmaker as being for “open borders” and stressing that he doesn’t want the “Democratic Party of the United States to be the Labour Party of the United Kingdom,” something he's told The Daily Beast before.
Carville would go on to exclaim that Democrats need to be more concerned about taking power back in Washington, repeatedly stating that only 18 percent of the population controls 52 Senate seats.
“It matters who the candidate is, it matters what a party chooses to talk about!” Carville shouted. “I’m 75 years old. Why am I here doing this? Because I am scared to death, that’s why! Let’s get relevant here, people, for sure.”
“I just love you,” former Democratic senator and current MSNBC contributor Claire McCaskill cooed in response.
Carville, meanwhile, went on to make his case that the party was leaning towards a centrist candidate over a liberal one, wondering out loud: “Do we want to be an ideological cult? Or do we want to have a majoritarian instinct to have the majority party?”
“You and I know that 18 percent of the country elects 52 senators,” he continued, addressing McCaskill. “The urban core is not gonna get it done. What we need is power! Do you understand? That’s what this is about.”