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Democratic strategist James Carville pushed back on CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday over concerns about Democratic interference in the Republican primaries.
Acosta questioned the ongoing strategy of Democratic groups bolstering “extremist Republicans” during the primaries to secure their presence in the midterm elections.
“It’s something that’s been talked about a lot in Democratic circles about whether it’s a good idea or not. We’ve seen efforts by Democratic campaigns and outside groups to tip the scales in their favor. backing hardline Republican candidates in some of these very critical races across the country, the idea that it would make it easier for the Democrats to win,” Acosta said.
“But on the other hand,” he warned. “If the vote doesn’t go their way, you could end up with conspiracy theorists, election deniers, etc., in some pretty big places.”
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Although Acosta questioned whether Democrats were “playing with fire,” Carville expressed no concerns about the strategy.
“The idea of a political campaign is to win elections. It acts in its own interest,” Carville said.
He added: “I did the same thing. I would do the same thing. I don’t see any ethical or moral problem in doing this. I think most of the opposition to this comes from the pontifical class mainly located on the coast. I see nothing wrong with that. And you’re trying to do whatever you can to help your candidate or your party win an election. And that’s pretty simple and that’s what the DCCC is trying to TO DO.
Several mainstream media outlets, including MSNBC and USA Today, have called on Democrats to push the strategy, calling it a “dangerous political game.” A Washington Post column in June lambasted Democratic “dark money groups” for hypocritically calling “Trumpism” a threat to democracy while supporting the former president’s nominees.
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“Sometimes it backfires, sometimes it doesn’t. Well, okay. You know, people do stupid things from time to time, but I wholeheartedly approve of this idea of being involved in the primaries to help them name the dumbest, goofiest extreme person they can,” Carville said.
During the segment, Acosta played a clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi similarly defending the strategy of supporting some Republicans in the primaries for Democratic benefits.
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“I said we needed a strong Republican Party, not a cult of personality. That didn’t mean we shouldn’t have a strong Democratic Party either. And the policy decisions that are made there are taken in view of our winning the election because we think the contrast between Democrats and Republicans as they are now is so stark that we have to win,” Pelosi said.