Critics of mega-billionaire Michael Bloomberg slammed an MSNBC appearance by his surrogate Judge Judy Sheindlin on Tuesday, in which the daytime TV personality and mega-millionaire smeared Sen. Bernie Sanders and said people supporting him should "grow up."
As voters in 14 states went to the polls for Super Tuesday in the 2020 Democratic primary, Sheindlin claimed the progressive agenda promoted by the Vermont senator—who has won the popular vote in three out of four primary states and whose signature Medicare for All proposal was supported by majorities in all four states—is "a joke."
According to the judge, what the nation needs is "incremental change," not the "political revolution" inspiring millions of the Sanders' base.
"Sen. Sanders' revolution is not what this country needs," Sheindlin told Stephanie Ruhle. "It's a revolution that is a) a joke because it's fiscally impossible; and b) wherever it's been tried on a large scale it's failed."
MSNBC stepping up their anti-Bernie agenda on #SuperTuesday.
Judge Judy, who is backing Bloomberg, calls Bernie’s revolution a joke, lies about his record in Congress, talks about Venezuela & then says Bernie’s young supporters need to grow up.#VoteForBernie #NeverBloomberg pic.twitter.com/pZN5HZoCth
— Geoff Campbell (MiamiGator) (@GeoffMiami) March 3, 2020
Sheindlin also denigrated the young voters who support Sanders in large numbers, saying they need to "grow up." Sanders has shown in repeated polls to have the most support in the Democratic field of voters under the age of 45—a large chunk of the American electorate.
Ruhle—whose network has acknowledged a need to include "more smart, pro-Sanders voices" following outrage over anchors' open, on-air expressions of shock and dismay when Sanders won the Nevada primary last month—pushed back on Sheindlin's characterization of the senator's policy platform as an unrealistic "socialist" one.
"It's democratic socialism, not socialism," Ruhle said. "To all of those people in the country who are faced with the $88 billion in medical debt, the $1.5 trillion in student debt, they can't see the American dream... They're not just crazy kids looking for a revolution. What's your message to them?"
Without detailing policy proposals that Bloomberg is offering to young families struggling to afford healthcare and education, Sheindlin assured Ruhle that Bloomberg is committed to "tweaking" the U.S. economic and political systems.
"[Sanders is] not the answer, the answer is a man who knows how to see a problem and incrementally get it fixed, and the only one who can do that is Mike Bloomberg," Sheindlin said.
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On social media, sports journalist Brett Kollman summarized Sheindlin's appearance and support for Bloomberg, whose net worth is approximately $60 billion and who has poured more than $500 million into advertising during the primary, as a sign that "it's just rich people versus everyone else at this point."
Judge Judy, who is worth nearly half a billion dollars, is stumping for Bloomberg on MSNBC right now. She’s calling Sanders a “joke” and comparing his policies to Venazuela.
Republican or Democrat - it doesn’t matter any more. It’s just rich people vs everyone else at this point
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) March 3, 2020
Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation, denounced the endorsement from Sheindlin, who previously defended Bloomberg's expansion of the NYPD's "stop and frisk" program which was declared unconstitutional in 2013.
Everything I hate about the criminal justice system is being indirectly captured along Judge Judy explaining why mayor stop and frisk is the best choice.
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) March 3, 2020
In her MSNBC appearance, Sheindlin also launched attacks on Sanders' productivity while serving in public office, repeating a frequent smear that the senator has passed an unusually small amount of legislation during his tenure.
As a number of fact-checking articles have pointed out, bills introduced by Sanders have passed at about the same rate as other senators who ran presidential campaigns in the 2020 election. According to Snopes, Sanders' legislative record is in line with the realities of how laws are passed, as "only a scant handful of bills submitted in Congress (about 4 to 6 percent) are ever brought to a vote, and even fewer (about 2 to 4 percent) end up being enacted."
Sanders has also influenced legislation significantly by co-sponsoring more than 200 successful bills and introducing a record-setting amount of amendments to bills, frequently working across the aisle to do so, and passing more amendments in a Republican-held Congress than any other lawmaker.
As Common Dreams reported, Sanders defended his own record on CNN Monday night, highlighting his successful fight for a higher minimum wage in several states.