In what was the softest of softball interviews, MSNBC host Chris Matthews gently asked Hillary Clinton a simple question: “What’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?”
Now to someone who has been in active in politics continuously since her teen years, this question should be a lay-up. In fact, Clinton had most likely heard the question from Matthews before, when he asked it of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But, like her party’s chair, Hillary fumbled:
MATTHEWS: What’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat? Is that a question you want to answer or you’d rather not, politically.
CLINTON: Well, you’d have to –
MATTHEWS: Well, see, I’m asking you. You’re a Democrat, he’s a socialist. Would you like somebody to call you a socialist? I wouldn’t like somebody calling me a socialist.
CLINTON: But I’m not one. I mean, I’m not one.
MATTHEWS: What’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat? That’s the question.
CLINTON: I can tell you what I am. I am a Progressive Democrat.
MATTHEWS: How is that different than a socialist?
CLINTON: I’m a Progressive Democrat who likes to get things done and who believes that we are better off in this country when we’re trying to solve problems together. Getting people to work together. There will always be strong feelings and I respect that, from, you know, the far right, the far left, libertarians, whoever it might be. We need to get people working together. We’ve got to get the economy fixed, we’ve got to get all of our problems, you know, really tackled and that’s what I want to do.
MATTHEWS: I think the difference is, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz wouldn’t answer the question either when I asked her. Because I know politically you have to keep together the center-left and the left has to work together. I know all of that.