Chris Matthews apologizes to Sanders for comparing victory to Nazi invasion: 'I was wrong'

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews apologized to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) for comparing the Democratic presidential candidate’s victory in the Nevada caucuses to a Nazi invasion.

Matthews started his “Hardball” on Monday by saying he wanted to “say something quite important and personal.”

“As I watched the one-sided results of Saturday’s Democratic caucus in Nevada, I reached for a historic analogy and used a bad one,” he said. “I was wrong to refer to an event from the last days, or actually the first days, of World War II.”


He then directed his comments at Sanders, saying “I’m sorry for comparing anything from that tragic era in which so many suffered, especially the Jewish people, to an electorate result in which you were the well-deserved winner.”

Matthews continued that he will “strive to do a better job myself” as the 2020 race moves along. He congratulated Sanders for the “tremendous win down in Nevada.”

The MSNBC host faced massive criticism, including from an MSNBC contributor, after he compared Sanders’s win in Nevada to the Nazi invasion of France, leading several on social media to call for Matthews’s resignation.


“I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940,” Matthews said during MSNBC’s live coverage of the caucuses. “And the general, Reynaud, calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over.’ And Churchill says, ‘How can that be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.'”

Sanders, who would become the first Jewish president should he be elected, has relatives who died in the Holocaust.

The Vermont progressive is leading the Democratic primary race with 45 delegates after dominating the Nevada caucuses last weekend and earning narrow second and first place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively. 

Matthews’s apology was largely accepted on social media.

–Joe Concha contributed to this report, which was updated on Feb. 25 at 7:43 a.m.

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