Former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt warned Democrats from swinging too far left because "a sociopath will beat a socialist seven days a week and twice on Sunday."
"The Trump presidency is an emergency for the country," Schmidt, who advised Sen. John McCain's 2008 campaign against Sen. Barack Obama, told MSNBC on Wednesday during its coverage of the fifth Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta, The Hill reports. "There is no higher issue than his removal from office.
"So that calls for a candidate who has the ability to assemble the broadest, widest possible political coalition.
"That includes some Republicans, independents, Democrats to win an election that will be the most consequential election I think this country has had since 1864, maybe the 1940 election," Schmidt added.
"I do think there is a danger when you look at some of the ideology that we've seen front and center in this field," he continued. "In America, a sociopath will beat a socialist seven days a week and twice on Sunday.
"Nobody," Schmidt said, "should underestimate Donald Trump's ability to frame an argument, to demagogue an opponent."
Schmidt, who cited President Trump in leaving the Republican Party last year, also slammed Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's debate performance as "dishonest" and her positions as "extreme," later asking the Hawaii Democrat why she met in 2017 with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Gabbard responded by citing her national security credentials, saying that she was "willing to meet with the brutal dictator in Syria in the interest of peace and national security.
"That is why, as president, I will be willing to meet with any leader from any other country if it means we are able to ensure no more of my brothers and sisters are needlessly sent into harm's way."
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