Jim Messina, who managed Barack Obama's 2012 campaign, revealed in an interview over the weekend that Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic presidential nomination would be welcomed news for President Donald Trump.
"If I were a campaign manager for Donald Trump and I look at the field, I would very much want to run against Bernie Sanders," Messina told Politico.
"I think the contrast is the best. He can say, 'I'm a business guy, the economy's good and this guy's a socialist.' I think that contrast for Trump is likely one that he'd be excited about in a way that he wouldn't be as excited about Biden or potentially Mayor Pete or some of the more Midwestern moderate candidates," he explained.
"From a general election perspective, socialism is not going to be what Democrats are going to want to defend," Messina went on to say. "If you're the Democratic nominee for the Montana Senate race, you don't want to spend the election talking about socialism."
Messina's comments come as Sanders' campaign continues to surge just weeks before the Iowa caucuses. The latest Des Moines Register/CNN poll, in fact, found that Sanders is now leading in Iowa.
However, Sanders still trails Joe Biden nationally, according to RealClearPolitics.
Despite voicing concerns about Sanders' general election viability, Messina is not endorsing a Democrat in the 2020 contest, Politico reported.
In response to Messina's comments, Sanders's communications director Mike Casca hit back hard.
"If he spent less time in boardrooms courting CEOs, he would witness the incredible energy generated by Bernie's campaign, which has more than 5 million individual donations — the all-time record for a presidential candidate at this point in the race," Casca told Politico. "But please do make sure Jim gives our best to his dear friend Theresa May."