Gray: Because it’s a Democratic primary.
Green: But we're moving into general-election season now, right?
Gray: But we’re not! The Democratic Party would like us to believe that’s the case, and they behaved that way even before Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race. But we are, in fact, still in a Democratic-primary season. Biden is only the presumptive nominee.
We’re expected to be giving parades for policy positions that are more conservative than were offered up four years ago? We are living the status quo. At a certain point, voters are tired of having people—excuse the expression—piss on their leg and tell them that it’s raining.
And there’s all kinds of whispers and rumors about whether or not something might happen at the convention, which might mean Joe Biden isn’t even the nominee.
Green: Are you talking about the Tara Reade allegations?
Gray: There’s a lot of reasons why Democrats might want to substitute a different person for Joe Biden as the nominee. The Tara Reade allegation has been handled abysmally by the press. If anyone looks at this closely, then they will see reason for concern.
Green: So is your preferred outcome to have a brokered convention?
Gray: My preferred outcome is for the Democratic nominee to support the bedrock policies that will make them electable against Donald Trump in the fall. And my preferred outcome is for that nominee not to be so saddled with a historical record that it’s difficult for him to really run on anything. The party made a choice. Democratic officials and Barack Obama made a number of phone calls after South Carolina, convincing other people in the race to drop out and coalesce behind Joe Biden, knowing that Joe Biden had these vulnerabilities.
Green: You’re kind of making it out like Joe Biden is this Manchurian candidate, but the reason Sanders dropped out is because he had no viable path to the nomination based on his delegate count. It was voters who chose Joe Biden as their preferred candidate, right?
Gray: Yeah, voters chose Joe Biden as their preferred candidate after months of concentrated media attention saying that he was the most electable candidate, not talking about any of his vulnerabilities. Of course, if you’ve never heard of Tara Reade’s allegations, if it’s never been framed up to you on the mainstream news that Joe Biden has these vulnerabilities on trade, if the only explanation you’ve ever gotten is that Trump won because he’s racist, you are going to believe that Joe Biden is the most electable candidate. When Bernie Sanders won Nevada, the most diverse state to have voted so far at that point, he got Chris Matthews breaking down about how there’s going to be a Communist revolution in the street and people are going to cut off his head in Central Park.
So yes, at the end of the day, it was incumbent on Bernie Sanders to overcome those challenges and to figure out a way to get his message across, and obviously we were unsuccessful there. But to pretend that the voters were operating in kind of a neutral, unbiased media climate is also inaccurate. People need information to make informed decisions, and unfortunately the media climate meant that was not the case.