David Gregory on the Clintons: 'Nostalgia For the '90s is Over'

On Wednesday's New Day on CNN, former NBC anchor David Gregory underlined the perils for the future of Hillary Clinton's campaign: "The danger for the Clintons, just like in 2008, is essentially saying...'This is a pipe dream. He can't get any of this stuff done.' A lot of people who support Sanders don't want to hear that. They want to hear what he's actually capable of doing; and they want to give voice to that aspiration." Gregory added, "The grassroots of the Democratic Party is more liberal. This nostalgia for the '90s is over. It's a different party." [video below]

Anchor Alisyn Camerota first turned to CNN political commentator Errol Louis and wondered, "Can [Bernie Sanders] win over minority voters?" Louis replied, "There's no reason to assume that he cannot," and pointed out that the Vermont senator's upcoming meeting with Al Sharpton. He also contended that the African American vote is "very much up for grabs. I don't think Hillary Clinton has any reason to assume that it's going to automatically go her way."

Gregory complimented Louis for his "really smart part," and continued by spotlighting how Senator Sanders is a "movement liberal, and people are falling in love with this guy and his message." He then dropped his "danger for the Clintons" analysis. However, the former NBC journalist also asserted, "I think there's a lot of problems with his [Sanders's] policies, and that's where Hillary Clinton is going to go to work. She's going to try to inspire more, and really take him down."

Moments later, after giving his "nostalgia for the 90s is over" line, Gregory noted that "a lot of the Clinton supporters, and the team Clinton, say, yeah, but remember Bill's presidency? She's more centrist. She gets on (sic) well in corporate America, Goldman Sachs, the military." He also emphasized that "it's a more liberal base here — a base that is disappointed with Barack Obama — and that is the energy right now that – that Sanders has."

The transcript of the relevant portions of the panel discussion segment from the February 10, 2016 edition of CNN's New Day:

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Errol, there's the ground game and infrastructure question. Also, can he win over minority voters? Can he work with blacks and Hispanics in — in South Carolina and Nevada, do you think?

[CNN Graphic: "Sanders Looks To Build Momentum After N.H. Win; Democrats Battle For Minority Voters"]

ERROL LOUIS, POLITICAL ANCHOR, TIME WARNER CABLE NEWS: There — there's no reason to assume that he cannot. I mean, he — he's in Manhattan today. He's going to be meeting with the Reverend Al Sharpton. He's—

CUOMO: How about that move, taken on its own? Is that the right first step for people to see him making?

LOUIS: Oh, absolutely. I mean, look at — this is part of a larger issue. It's not like Al Sharpton has a bunch of votes to deliver or anything like that. He's not that kind of political leader. But he does three hours of radio every day. He's in 40 markets all around the country. He — he sort of has his finger on the pulse to a certain extent. And he symbolizes what is a larger question that any Democratic nominee — whether it's Clinton or Sanders — is going to have to deal with — which is, what happens to the black vote? I mean, where, in 2008, 2012, for the first time in American history, the black vote that exceeded the non-Hispanic white vote — 64, 65 percent turnout — you're not going to see that again. There's going to be some level of a — sort of, a pulling back after the historic candidacy and presidency of Barack Obama. And somebody's going to have to try and talk to folks. That's really very much up for grabs. I don't think Hillary Clinton has any reason to assume that it's going to automatically go her way.

DAVID GREGORY, FORMER MODERATOR, "MEET THE PRESS": I think that's a really smart point. It is that level of enthusiasm — first of all, the money is going to be there. All the $27 checks are coming in. So Bernie Sanders is going to have the money.  He is a movement liberal, and people are falling in love with this guy and his message. And the danger for the Clintons, just like in 2008, is essentially saying, 'This is a fantasy.' Remember that line from Bill Clinton? 'This is a fantasy. This is a pipe dream. He can't get any of this stuff done'—

CAMEROTA: 'Fairy tale'—

GREGORY: A lot of people who support Sanders don't want to hear that. They want to hear what he's actually capable of doing; and they want to give voice to that aspiration. And so, I think that piece of it is very important. And Sanders gets a new look this morning — has an ability to talk about free college education, single-payer. I think there's a lot of problems with his policies, and that's where Hillary Clinton is going to go to work. She's going to try to inspire more, and really take him down—

CUOMO: Well, maybe there are — look, her friends — [Dianne] Feinstein. You have [Nancy] Pelosi coming out — you know, the Democratic leadership coming out — saying, we have some problems with Sanders. I don't know if that works against him or for him.

(...)

GREGORY: The grassroots of the Democratic Party is more liberal. This nostalgia for the '90s is over. It's a different party. And so, a lot of the Clinton supporters, and the team Clinton, say, yeah, but remember Bill's presidency? She's more centrist. She gets on (sic) well in corporate America, Goldman Sachs, the military. It's a more liberal base here — a base that is disappointed with Barack Obama — and that is the energy right now that – that Sanders has.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center