MSNBC hosts Donny Deutsch and Lawrence O'Donnell had a fiery exchange Wednesday night over whether any of the 2020 Democratic candidates onstage during the evening's primary debate can beat President Trump.
Deutsch urged the panel not to "shoot the messenger," but he said he did not believe Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., can defeat Trump in a general election.
"If we're honest with ourselves and we look hard at ourselves, I think a lot of people agree with me," Deutsch told the panel after MSNBC aired the debate in Miami. "I also think when you can label somebody a socialist, 57 percent of this country thinks that word is un-American. I'm not saying it's fair. When he [Trump] can blanket Elizabeth Warren as a socialist and he's onstage with her, the Democrats lose."
When asked by MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace "who could beat Trump," Deutsch responded by saying the "Joe Biden we want" can, but "no one" on the debate stage could.
The comment did not sit well with O'Donnell.
"Let's just identify this for what it is: pure guesswork a year-and-a-half away," O'Donnell said. "And so it has, and Donny I say this respectfully, zero value."
"Don't tell me it has zero value," Deutsch shot back. "It's understanding human behavior. And I guarantee you 90 percent of our audience agrees with me."
"It's a wild guess, there's no science in it, there's nothing in it," O'Donnell continued. "You can put any name you want in the wild guess you just made and it doesn't make it true."
"I'm understanding Donald Trump -- the way he's connecting with this country and the strength he exudes," Deutsch doubled down. "We need to exude a stronger strength. It's not a policy discussion."