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MSNBC’s Jason Johnson Tapdances For Billionaire Bloomberg, Claims He’s Not An Oligarch

MSNBC’s Jason Johnson Tapdances For Billionaire Bloomberg, Claims He’s Not An Oligarch

Oligarch
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ national campaign co-chair, Nina Turner, sparked a debate with MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson after calling billionaire candidate Mike Bloomberg an “oligarch.” In the original photos, Sanders smiles with Turner, right, at a Medicare for All town hall gathering on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in Florence, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard) Bloomberg speaks with members of the media at The Bridge Way School in Philadelphia, which services students in grades 9 to 12 who are in recovery from substance abuse or addiction, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Bloomberg’s charity has announced a $50 million donation to help fight the nation’s opioid epidemic, with Pennsylvania getting at least $10 million. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ national campaign co-chair, Nina Turner, has caused another firestorm with her outspoken criticism of his competition. This time, Turner sparked a debate with MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson after calling billionaire candidate Mike Bloomberg an “oligarch,” The Daily Beast reported.

Turner – a fornmer state senator from Ohio – made the comments Monday before the Iowa Caucus when she called out the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and accused it of changing debate rules so Bloomberg could qualify.

While speaking with MSNBC host Chris Matthews, she said voters were concerned “the oligarchs” could buy their way into elections. When Matthews incredulously asked if she believed Bloomberg was an oligarch, Turner responded with an emphatic yes.


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“He is,” Turner shot back. “He skipped Iowa. Iowans should be insulted. Buying his way into this race, period. The DNC changed the rules. They didn’t change it for Senator Harris. They didn’t change it for Senator Booker. They didn’t change it for Secretary Castro.”

Johnson passionately disagreed with Turner’s assessment and noted that Sanders was also a member of the top 1 percent.

“Calling Mike Bloomberg an oligarch has implications in this country that I think are unfair and unreasonable,” Johnson said. While he noted he didn’t agree with many of Bloomberg’s moves when he was mayor of New York, he said Turner’s criticism was “dismissive” and “unfair.”

“Mike Bloomberg is just a rich guy,” Johnson added. “Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean that you’re an oligarch that abuses power. … It ain’t the kind of language you should be using. I think it’s dismissive, unfair and it’s the kind of thing that blows up in your face if you become the nominee and you have to work with Mike Bloomberg three or four months from now. That’s the issue Sanders people never seem to want to remember.”

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In a later appearance to respond to Johnson’s backlash, Turner made no apologies and doubled down on her comments about Bloomberg.

“You know it’s just ironic to me that somebody would defend the wealthiest people in this country over the working people in this country,” Turner said. “We need real campaign finance reform, to the extent that a Mayor Bloomberg can totally finance his campaign. He doesn’t have to go out to the people, he doesn’t have to build a movement, he doesn’t have to talk people, he can buy his way … Maybe Jason likes the word elite over oligarch … so cry me a river for the wealthiest people in this country.”

When asked if she wanted to change her use of the word “oligarch” when challenged by Johnson again, Turner exclaimed, “No I’m not changing my word … my word stands!”

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