Pennacchio Sees a Bull Moose Future for Sanders-Mangled Dems


As Democrats in the NJ establishment shudder with the notion of a Bernie Sanders general election presidential candidacy, state Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), co-chair of the Donald Trump reelection campaign in New Jersey, said his opponents face a dismal splintering.

“The seeds of discord were planted years ago,” Pennacchio said. “It’s a house divided. Thirty-three percent of the Democrat Party base are Bernie people. They believe in socialism. It’s a party not run by the majority, but by the most engaged part of the party.” Bernie’s telling you exactly what he wants, though I thoroughly disagree with all of it.”

Pennacchio described the Democratic Party as unalert and lazy on its party and candidate building fronts, and as a consequence, subject to fracture.

“They put up an almost octogenarian who barely remembers where he is, is not good on his feet, and whose only claim to fame is that Obama picked him run with; and then he’s got a questionable background on top of it with his son.”

Inevitably it didn’t work out for former Vice President Joe Biden (a fourth place finisher in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire and a distant second in Nevada), Pennacchio said.

Biden disagrees that he’s flatlined.

“You put me in a position,” he said after Nevada. “You know, the press is ready to declare people dead quickly but we’re alive and we’re coming back and we’re going to win.”

But Pennacchio doubts he can come back, as do significant members of the party establishment in New Jersey.

“So they go to money,” said Trump’s New Jeresy co-chair, referring to billionaire former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, one of the richest men in the world, embraced early by U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11).

“He will change opinions like he changes shirts,” said the state senator.

“I can’t see anyone rescuing this party,” Pennacchio added of the democrats. “They’re going so far off the cliff.”

But isn’t populist Sanders simply the Donald Trump of his own party, InsiderNJ asked?

Trump won the 2016 Republican Primary for President by generating passion at the grassroots of the GOP – and offending the Bush establishment.

Sanders has passion on his side.

“The issue was the messenger, but everyone was on board with the message,” said Pennacchio, recalling the 2016 Republican Primary for president. “There’s a big difference. Look at the results: unemployment among minorities is at the lowest level. He doesn’t play identity politics. A rising tide lifts all boats. That’s not Reagan, but Kennedy. Look, as human beings we’re all flawed. He was a very unpresidential candidate, but in his heart he’s not a racist. Now that he’s president, we expect him to be presidential. But again, look at what the man is doing. The press doesnt like him and the feeling is mutual, Republicans like Christie Todd Whitman and John Kasich routinely attack him, and let’s not forget K Street and the swamp. He’s fighting an awful lot of people, and if you don’t counterpunch, you get hit, like Bloomberg, who the other night acted like he had never been hit.”

As it stands with Democrats, “One of two things will happen. Either they splinter into two separate parties – like Teddy Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Party – or the party itself remains splintered.”

He sees the fracture lasting for a generation.

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