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Bernie calls James Carville a ‘political hack’ after viral MSNBC rant



  • Sen. Bernie Sanders called James Carville a “political hack,” and the former Clinton adviser told Insider he agrees. 
  • “James, with all due respect, is a political hack,” Sanders said on CNN on Wednesday. 
  • This came after Carville went on a viral rant about Sanders on MSNBC, suggesting he was turning the Democratic party into an “ideological cult.”
  • “He is correct when he calls me a political hack, and I am correct when I call him a fanatical ideologue,” Carville told Insider. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday called James Carville a “political hack” after the veteran Democratic strategist went on a viral rant against the Vermont senator on MSNBC. 

The former adviser to the Clintons had suggested to MSNBC that Sanders was attempting to turn the Democratic party into an “ideological cult,” and CNN’s Anderson Cooper said he wanted to give the self-declared democratic socialist a chance to respond.

Sanders told Cooper, “James, with all due respect, is a political hack.”

“We are taking on Trump, the Republican establishment, Carville, and the Democratic establishment,” Sanders added. 


In a phone call on Thursday, Carville told Insider that he agreed with Sanders. 

“He got me, spot on. That’s what I am…I am a political hack. I love politics. I’ve worked in 22 countries. For a good part of my life I earned my living in politics, I don’t know what else you’d call me,” Carville said. 

“He is correct when he calls me a political hack, and I am correct when I call him a fanatical ideologue,” Carville added of Sanders.

James Carville

James Carville.

Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Carville said that Sanders thinks a political campaign is about “advancing a left-wing agenda,” while he thinks a campaign is “about winning.”

“He doesn’t like politics, I do. We’re different people. We come from a different part of the country…And we have fundamental differences in what we think is the purpose of a political party,” Carville said.

Sanders is currently the Democratic frontrunner and won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire on Tuesday. But Carville was impressed with the Vermont senator’s victory.

“He won but he got 26% and he’s the frontrunner, and we’re gonna take that to a general election? Please! And it’s a state right next to his own,” Carville said. 

Though Sanders won the popular vote in both Iowa and New Hampshire, is dominating the 2020 field in fundraising, and at the top of recent national polls, Carville said he does not think Sanders can win the 2020 Democratic nomination. 

With that said, Carville conceded that he would vote for Sanders, in spite of their disagreements, over President Donald Trump. 

“I would vote for a fanatical ideologue before I’d vote for a career criminal,” Carville said. “Every day, whoever I determine at a given point has the best chance to run Trump’s a– out of office is gonna be the person that I’m gonna be for.” 

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