Democratic strategist James Carville pushed back on Saturday against CNN’s Jim Acosta over concerns about Democrat interference in Republican primaries.
Acosta questioned the ongoing strategy of Democrat groups boosting “extremist Republicans” during the primaries to ensure their presence in the midterm elections.
“This has been something that’s been talked about quite a bit in Democratic circles as to whether or not this is good idea. We’ve seen efforts by Democratic campaigns and outside groups to tilt the playing field in their favor by propping up extremist Republican candidates in some of these very critical races around the country, the idea that it would make it easier for Democrats to win,” Acosta said.
“But on the flip side,” he warned. “If the vote doesn’t go their way, you could end up with conspiracy theorists, election deniers and so on in some pretty important places.”
Although Acosta questioned whether the Democrats were “playing with fire,” Carville expressed no concerns with the strategy.
“The idea of a political campaign is to win the election. It acts in its own interest,” Carville said.
He added, “I’ve done the same thing. I would do the same thing. I don’t see any ethical or moral problem with doing this. I think most of the opposition to this is from the pontifical class mostly located on the coast. I don’t see anything wrong with this. And you try to do everything 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 do.”
Several mainstream media outlets including MSNBC and USA Today have called out Democrats for pushing this strategy, calling it a “dangerous political game.” A Washington Post column in June blasted Democrat “dark money groups” for hypocritically calling “Trumpism” a threat to democracy while supporting the former president’s candidates.
“Sometimes it backfires, sometimes it doesn’t work. Well, okay. You know, people do stupid things from time to time, but I wholeheartedly endorse this idea of being involved in primaries to help them nominate the stupidest, goofiest extreme person they can,” Carville said.
During the segment, Acosta aired a clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi similarly defending the strategy of supporting certain Republicans in primaries for Democrat advantages.
“I said that we need a strong Republican Party, not a cult of personality. That didn’t mean we shouldn’t have a strong Democratic Party as well. And the political decisions that are made out there are made in furtherance of our winning the election because we think the contrast between Democrats and Republicans as they are now is so drastic that we have to win,” Pelosi said.