While appearing on Thursday’s edition of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the current head of the Democratic National Committee, was stymied when host Chris Matthews asked her to tell the difference between a Democrat and a socialist. The question was asked as part of a discussion about Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont socialist running for the White House as a Democrat.
“What is the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?” he asked directly in a tone normally reserved for conservatives and Republicans. Wasserman Schultz was at a clear loss for words.
“I used to think there is a big difference. What do you think it is?” he asked again. “A Democrat like Hillary and a socialist like Bernie Sanders.” Again, the Florida Democrat was unable to answer the question directly and tried to change the question.
“The more important question is what is the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican,” she said. But that didn’t work on Matthews, who pressed the point further.
“What’s the big difference between a Democrat and a socialist?” he asked a third time. “You’re chairman of the Democratic Party. Tell me the difference between you and a socialist.” Once again, Wasserman Schultz dodged the question, apparently unaccustomed to being asked real questions from someone like Matthews.
“The relevant debate that we’ll be having this campaign is what’s the difference between a Democrat and a Republican,” she said in response. “The difference between a Democrat and Republican is that Democrats fight to make sure everybody has an opportunity to succeed and the Republicans are strangled by their right-wing extremists,” she added, completely unable to answer the question throughout the entire exchange.
A number of people on Twitter had an answer, Twitchy said. For many, there is no difference between the modern Democratic Party and socialists.
“That’s a trick question,” one person tweeted. “Answer: Nothing.” Others agreed with the assessment.
“There is no difference,” another Twitter user said. “Wasserman-Schultz can not identify ONE difference between a Dem and a Socialist,” said a third Twitter user. “No one can.”
Syndicated columnist Phil Kerpen suggested the exchange might prompt some extra preparation from the Clinton campaign. “Somebody at Hillary headquarters is scrambling to prep an answer to the ‘difference between a Democrat and a Socialist’ stumper,” he tweeted. Video of the exchange can be seen above.