Morning Joe regular Donny Deutsch claimed on Friday that Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s decline in popularity over the past couple of months is due to her being strident and unlikable—all while making sure everyone knew he wasn’t peddling a sexist trope.
Following her third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses and polls currently showing her lagging ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough asked Vice correspondent Shawna Thomas what may be behind Warren’s “precipitous decline over the past two months.”
“You know, just two months ago we were talking about what a stellar campaign she had run,” Scarborough wondered. “She was in first place in national polls for the first time. And it has been, you know, one bad poll result after another for the past two months. And it’s, I will say, still it is hard for me to figure out exactly why that is. Do you have, do you have any reporting or theories on that?”
Thomas, meanwhile, said that it appeared to come down to voters’ general concerns “that men won’t vote for her” largely due to her being a woman.
“People are trying to figure that out because Democrats want to know who is going to gather everyone together and they’re all going to show up and vote against President Trump, right,” Thomas continued. “And if you look around and your neighbors, they’re not sure a woman can beat him, that starts to wear on a campaign.”
Deutsch, however, jumped in to express his disagreement with Thomas’ analysis and present his own theory for Warren’s slide.
"Is it a woman or is it her?” Deutsch declared. “Or is it a certain stridentness to her that, do we want to invite her into our bedrooms and living rooms every day for four years?”
“She has the same issue Bernie had,” the MSNBC analyst added. “I don’t think it’s a gender issue—it’s a likability issue. I think we have to be careful. I think an amazing woman would be a great antidote to Jon’s point earlier, a different definition of strength if you will. Strength to strength but a different way. But I don’t think Elizabeth Warren’s problem has been she’s a woman."
Co-host Willie Geist helpfully pointed out that “Bernie’s winning” currently as Thomas noted that Warren “is way more likable than Bernie Sanders.”
This is far from the first time that Deutsch has pushed his belief that Warren is both strident and unlikable. As far back as March of last year, he groused about Warren’s “tone and manner” and that “her struggle is going to be between message and messenger.” This past November, he was called out on-air by a female MSNBC colleague for saying Warren had a “likability issue” and a “certain stridentness.”