November 28, 2017

David Brock Linked Bernie Sanders To Hugo Chavez

What (Really) Happened, Day #13

Let’s keep going with the David Brock theme this week.

Like we said on Monday, it wasn’t just Hillary Clinton who lost the 2016 election for Democrats. Clinton’s staff and circle of friends — including (and often especially) Brock — played a big role in her loss to Donald Trump.

At a time when Clinton desperately needed to unite the Democrat Party and convince voters in the progressive wing that she was a candidate they could trust, the Media Matters founder did everything he could to undermine those efforts.

In September 2015, one of Brock’s super PACs sent out an email smearing Bernie Sanders as a Jeremy Corbyn-like figure and linked the senator to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. The backlash was quick and severe, with Sanders officials announcing two days later that his campaign had raised more than $1 million as a result of the attack.

But, when confronted about it on Bloomberg Television’s “With All Due Respect,” Brock refused to admit that his super PAC had even made the comparison.


JOHN HEILEMANN: Do you think Bernie Sanders resembles Hugo Chavez?

DAVID BROCK: The research doesn’t say that. No.

HEILEMANN: But, by raising the Chavez comparison, it seems to me that’s basically what you’re trying to say about him, right?

BROCK: We don’t characterize the research. The research is factual. It’s fact-based. It’s out there. People can take it for what it’s worth, look at it, weigh it, take it seriously, or dismiss it.

HEILEMANN: Is this the beginning of a greater onslaught? Do you see it as your role now basically to try to do the dirty work for the Clinton campaign that they don’t want to do against Bernie Sanders directly?

BROCK: No. There’s no dirty work involved here. It’s just putting out facts.

HEILEMANN: Hugo Chavez is pretty dirty work.

BROCK: This is a political campaign and you’re going to have to draw some contrast. I mean, that’s just part of the process. And I think it’s a healthy democratic small-D process that we’re going to go through.

MARK HALPERIN: David, what’s the contrast you’re drawing with that email?

BROCK: We’re pointing out parts of Senator Sanders’ record that frankly . . . you know, my book is a lot about media coverage of Hillary Clinton.