MSNBC host Chris Matthews apologized Monday to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for comparing his campaign victory in Nevada to the Nazi takeover of France.
Matthews has been under fire from the Sanders camp and from pundits in general over the reference.
Sanders' communications chief, Mike Casca, tweeted about the reference, "never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a Jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the Nazis to the third Reich. But here we are."
Saturday night as it became evident Sanders had won, Matthews said on air:
"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 it be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?' He said, 'It's over.'"
On Matthews' regular program, "Hardball," on Monday, he addressed the issue, saying:
"As I watched the one-sided results of Saturday's Democratic caucus in Nevada, I reached for an historical analogy and used a bad one. I was wrong to refer to an event from . . . the first days of World War II. Sen. Sanders, I'm sorry for comparing anything from that tragic era in which so many suffered, especially the Jewish people, to an electoral result in which you were the well-deserved winner. This is going to be a hard-fought heated campaign of ideas. In the days and weeks and months ahead, I will strive to do a better job myself of elevating the political discussion."
Matthews' comments were not the first problem Sanders has had with the network. The New York Post reported Sanders confronted MSNBC president Phil Griffin, before last week's Las Vegas to say the network had not been fair to his campaign.
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