2020 Democrats 'Cannibalized' Bernie Sanders' 'Socialist' Platform, Republican Strategist Tells Fox News

A Republican strategist told Fox News Monday that Bernie Sanders' recent slide in the polls is a result of nearly every 2020 Democratic candidate "cannibalizing" his campaign platform, and that Joe Biden's poll numbers are "as good as they're ever going to get."

Josh Holmes, former chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a founding partner at Cavalry LLC strategist group, told Fox News' Dana Perino that Biden's frontrunner poll numbers are in a "honeymoon" period due primarily to his "much higher name ID" this early on in the 2020 campaign. Holmes said Biden must "hold on for dear life" to his current polling numbers, which show him doubling all other candidates, including Sanders.

Compared to Fox News Contributor and former DNC Communications Director Mo Elleithee, Holmes was much more optimistic about Sanders on Perino's show. He accused almost every other Democratic contender of stealing Medicare-for-All and other "socialist" platform ideas from Sanders' 2016 campaign.

"Do Republicans not want to attack Bernie so much right and let him have some room to run?" asked Perino, a former press secretary under Republican President George W. Bush. Holmes responded that he'd "love" to give Sanders more room because it hands more votes to Republicans during a general election.

However, he continued, "But look, I think the other thing about Bernie is the other Democratic candidates have cannabilized his views: The Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal, sort of by-and-large socialist policies that are things almost every single Democrat in this field has adopted hook, line and sinker and that used to be a very unique component to his campaign. Now, shared by almost everybody."

josh holmes mo elleithee
A Republican strategist told Fox News Monday that Joe Biden's poll numbers are "as good as it's ever going to get" and that Bernie Sanders' recent slide in the polls is due to every 2020 Democratic candidate "cannibalizing" his campaign platform. Screenshot: Fox News

The show also played an interview from Sunday between Sanders and ABC News' Jonathan Karl in which the Vermont senator shot back at Biden's claim he has "the most progressive record for anybody running."

Sanders pointed to Biden's votes in favor of the war in Iraq and his deregulation of Wall Street as clear evidence the former Delaware senator has few friends on the "new Left."

Elleithee took several several of his own shots at Sanders' campaign on Perino's show, saying "he entered this race as a frontrunner, but I would argue, probably has lost the most and has the most to lose of anyone in the field right now.

"Remember [Sanders] did very well against Hillary Clinton, he fell short, but he did very well. But his numbers today are a fraction of what they were four years ago," he said, adding that Joe Biden must be authentic and "he's just as electable as anybody else."

The Fox News segment showed data from Firehouse Strategies, a Republican-leaning firm which had Biden more than doubling the poll numbers of Bernie Sanders at 35 to 14 percent, respectively, in Iowa, 34 to16 percent in New Hampshire and 48 to 12 percent in South Carolina.

"The problem for Joe Biden is today, in the residual, honeymoon period of his announcement, is that is as good as it's ever going to get, from here on out, for the next six months, his only goal is to hold on for dear life to those numbers that he's at right now," Holmes said.

Elleithee fully dismissed a suggestion from Perino's suggestion that Sanders is popular among young people, instead saying, "We are seeing a lot of energy for other candidates, there is a lot of energy for people like Pete Buttigieg, for people like Kamala Harris and there's actually a pretty strong Biden [following]... they're energized, they are ready for this campaign."