Trump can defeat Dems, Sellers says
Nov 01, 2019
Bakari Sellers says Sen. Kamala Harris has the best shot at defeating President Donald Trump.
CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers is concerned that no candidate in the Democratic presidential field can beat President Donald Trump.
The former South Carolina Democratic state representative from Denmark and Columbia attorney met with The Panther on Oct. 31 to talk about next year's elections, the frontrunners for the Democratic nomination and Trump.
“If the election were today, none of these would beat Donald Trump,” Sellers said.
A majority of Democrats do not want former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders nor Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as the nominee, Sellers said. They are the three frontrunners in most polls.
Biden is the most formidable candidate, the person most people think can beat Trump, Sellers said. But if he goes 0-3 in the early primaries, he is in trouble.
South Carolina's primary on Feb. 29, fourth on the national calendar, will be vital as Biden winning in Iowa and New Hampshire is not looking promising, Sellers said.
Biden is old for the race and has “an extremely long record that people can pick apart.”
The attacks on Biden about his son Hunter being paid lucratively for holding a position with a Ukrainian oil company are unlikely to cease, Sellers said. “It’s going to be death by a thousands cuts.”
Sanders remains a strong candidate and was helped by the endorsement of three members of The Squad, though the only African-American member of the group of young freshmen congresswomen did not endorse him, Sellers said.
Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, like most black women, does not back Sanders, Sellers said. African American females are the most loyal Democratic voting block.
Warren also has a problem with African Americans, who rightly can ask: “Where were you four years ago on black issues?"
Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg could be surprises in the Democratic field, Sellers said.
Buttigieg is a talented candidate and should not be hurt by being the first openly gay candidate for president, Sellers said. He is in the “same vein as Bill Clinton.”
It may not be his time, however, Sellers said.
Klobuchar is not well known but voters should know she’s never lost a race. “She gives a moderate, independent voice and she’s tough as nails.”
Sellers has endorsed Harris. He said she has the ability to beat Trump.
"It’s a thin needle to thread but she is talented enough to do it," Sellers said. “Harris is the candidate who can rebuild the Obama coalition. She can shred Trump in a debate."
The Obama coalition is generally considered African-Americans, Hispanics, women, independents, millennials and those with a college education.
“Trump has a lot of money and will be a formidable candidate,” Sellers said.
Even though Trump lost the popular vote, he won in 2016 by making the “blue wall” crumble, winning traditional Democratic states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
“He created a map nobody thought was possible,” Sellers said.
Sellers was surprised like a lot of people when Trump won the 2016 elections, but he points out that Hillary Clinton won the most votes nationwide with a near-record total.
“Hillary got more votes than any white man ever,” Sellers said.
Hillary had a vote total only exceeded by Obama in 2008 and 2012. But the Electoral College, not the total popular vote, is the key to winning.
Sellers said South Carolina and its first-in-the-South primary will have a lot of say in the Democratic race.
Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada come before South Carolina, but they are not indicative of the national electorate, Sellers said.
South Carolina will get lots of attention as the first state with a sizable African American electorate, he said. “I guarantee you, every credible candidate will come through Orangeburg."
Sellers said Trump is a bad president.
“He has no ability to tell the truth,” Sellers said. “He will go down in history as arguably one of the four worst presidents ever.”
Democrats should not count on impeachment undoing Trump, Sellers said.
“Trump will be impeached, but he will not be removed from office by the Senate,” Sellers said.
Sellers said Trump abused power but it will be up to individual lawmakers to decide whether he has committed the high crimes and misdemeanors warranting impeachment.
“I do think the president of the United States has criminal tendencies.”
Sellers, who previously has been the Democratic nominee for S.C. lieutenant governor and was the youngest state representative ever when elected at age 21, is ready for a return to elected office.
He said he would run for Congress in 2020 but is not going to oppose House Majority Whip James Clyburn from South Carolina.
“I will be prepared to run if for some reason he resigns in 2020,” Sellers said.
“I will be on the ballot in 2022 for the 6th District congressional seat, whether Clyburn is running or not.”