Neera Tanden Says ‘Democrats Think the Country is Racist and Sexist’ Because Trump Was Elected


Former Clinton advisor Neera Tanden said that one reason white men are leading the Democratic field is that “Democrats think the country is racist and sexist” because President Donald Trump was elected in 2016.

Tanden was part of a panel on Thursday night’s edition of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes discussing recent fundraising totals and polling, and the departure of former HUD Secretary Julian Castro from the race.

Indivisible’s Maria Urbina said she appreciated Secretary Castro for pointing out “the way in which these primaries are set up to over-index white voters, and perhaps dim the light on the prominence that voters of color should have,” and added that popular political analysis is lacking when it comes to “people of color, their candidate preferences and their underrepresentation in traditional polling and how it informs a lot of these fundraising totals.”

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders just released a massive fourth quarter fundraising tally of $34.5 million, followed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg at $24.7 million and former Vice President Joe Biden at $22.7 mil. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was fourth with $21.2 million after a strong finish that saw her raise over $4 million in three days.

Host Chris Hayes said there seems to be a sense of “dread” and a “palpable… defensive crouch” among some Democratic voters who “feel like Trump won the first time.”

Hayes cited a response by Biden to a voter who asked how he would fare better than Hillary Clinton, to which Biden replied, among other things in his 15-minute answer, “Hillary faced a lot of sexism, which was totally unfair,” and added “Well that’s not going to happen with me.”

Hayes said Biden’s response was “100% descriptively accurate, but also seems a little uncomfortable as a normative self-endorsement about being a man, but that’s some of the twisted decision-making that I think is going into people’s calculations right now.”

“I mean, we should be honest, we have a series of white men who are leading the pack, and women are supporting them in the polls, people of color are supporting them in the polls, and my analysis of this is that people who feel attacked are actually the most concerned about electability,” Tanden said.

“I think people who feel under attack by the Trump administration feel that it’s an existential issue to ensure that Trump is not reelected, and so I think it’s not surprising that lots of people are very focused on electability,” she continued, then added “I also am concerned about the lack of diversity in the process here, and that we’re losing candidates of color.”

“But that’s also happening because of support of voters, and actually people of color make up a large percentage, not a majority but a large percentage of the Democratic electorate, and they are not supporting these candidates, which I think is a concern,” Tanden said. “I do think people think the country is racist and sexist, Democrats think the country is racist and sexist because we have Donald Trump as president, and it is affecting their choice, and that is unfortunate but true.”

Warren remains in the top three in national polling averages, but her support has fallen off sharply after a cup of coffee in the lead. California Senator Kamala Harris enjoyed a few polling spikes and a brief time in second place, but that support slipped, and dropped out citing a lack of funding. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out in August after her campaign failed to gain significant support despite her qualifications, experience, and status as a Clinton protege. Many attribute this to her role in the political demise of Al Franken.

The top three fundraisers are white men, but among all the frontrunners, Biden leads overwhelmingly with voters of color.

Trump was elected in 2016, with three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. But he’s had the bully pulpit for three years, has the advantage of incumbency, and a significant lead over each of the Democrats in fundraising.

Watch the clip above via MSNBC.

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