Democrats may have cut an ad for President Donald Trump's re-election campaign on Friday night.
In the last debate before the New Hampshire primary, George Stephanopoulos asked the Democratic slate of presidential candidates if they are concerned about the possibility of having Sen. Bernie Sanders, an unabashed "democratic socialist,” as the party's nominee heading into a tough general election fight against Trump.
"Is anyone else on this stage concerned about having a democratic socialist at the top of the Democratic ticket?" he asked
None of the leading candidates raised their hands—not even so-called "moderates" like Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg.
Klobuchar raised her hand
Not a single leading Democratic candidate was willing to denounce socialism. #DemDebate https://t.co/4dwt10r32t— Giancarlo Sopo (@Giancarlo Sopo)1581131791.0
The only presidential hopeful to raise their hand and express concern with Sanders as the party's nominee was Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
"Bernie and I work together all the time, but we are not going to be able to out-divide the divider-in-chief," she said.
It was not exactly a rebuke of the Vermont socialist's political extremism, but she was still more vocal than any of the other candidates in her opposition to Sanders.
Socialism is deeply unpopular among Americans
The leading Democrats' refusal to repudiate socialism comes as a recent poll shows the Marxist ideology is unpopular among American voters.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Sunday shows a majority of registered voters (53 percent) have a negative view of socialism, while just 19 percent view it positively. Conversely, the poll found the opposite result for the free enterprise system. Fifty-two percent of voters said they have a positive view of capitalism, while just 18 percent said they view it negatively.
The findings of the NBC News study are consistent with an October 2019 poll by Gallup that found a large majority of Americans reacting negatively to the term "socialism" and strong majorities viewing capitalism and the free enterprise system favorably.
According to Gallup, "39% of Americans said they have a positive opinion of socialism, while 57% view it negatively." Meanwhile, the researchers noted that "Americans' ratings of capitalism have not changed," and like the NBC News / WSJ study, "are about the inverse of socialism's ratings, with roughly six in 10 viewing capitalism positively." The pollster also noted that the most term for America's economic system is "free enterprise," which 87 percent of the survey's respondents rating it positively.
'Socialism doesn't frickin' work!'
While leading Democrats do not seem alarmed by the possibility of having Sanders as their nominee, as TheBlaze's Carlos Garcia noted on Friday, the Vermont senator's brand of "democratic socialism" is worrisome to MSNBC's Chris Matthews.
"The issue of this campaign, it is that word socialism," Matthews remarked.
"Some people like it. Younger people like it. Those of us like me, who grew up in the Cold War and saw some aspects of it if you're visiting places like Vietnam like I have, and seen countries like Cuba, being there," he noted.
"I've seen what socialism's like, and I don't like it. OK? It's not only not free, it doesn't frickin' work!" Matthews exclaimed.