MSNBC's Chuck Todd suggests Sanders can't win Nevada 'fair and square' without key union backing

MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd on Thursday suggested that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., can't win the upcoming Nevada primary "fair and square" without the coveted endorsement of the state's Culinary Union.

Tensions were heightened between the Culinary Union and the Sanders campaign earlier this week after the union claimed it was "viciously attacked" by supporters of the Vermont senator when it expressed opposition to the progressive candidate's "Medicare-for-all" proposal, which would eliminate the private health care Nevada workers in the union want to keep.

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However, after the Culinary Union announced it would not endorse any 2020 Democrat, Todd floated that a potential victory by Sanders in Nevada wouldn't be "fair and square" after conceding that Sanders could narrowly win the state.

"I'm not convinced that the Nevada caucuses feel like -- how encompassing of the electorate is it going to be," Todd said. "Don't you think if they endorsed, the rest of the campaigns would be like, 'You know, I'm outta here. I'm going to South Carolina.'"

"But they need Nevada, they really do," Voto Latino President Maria Teresa Kumar said.

"I understand that, but it's not clear that you can win Nevada fair and square if the Culinary Union isn't with you," Todd said.

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The "Meet the Press" moderator swiped at the "subset" of Sanders' supporters who went after the Culinary Union.

"The fact that the Sanders campaign is finally having to sort of reckon with its out-of-control subset there," Todd said. "Maybe it does [take] almost losing Nevada to realize that they've got to figure out if there is a way to tame this crowd."

The MSNBC anchor has made his opposition to Sanders' candidacy and his supporters very clear in recent days. On Wednesday, Todd said he doesn't understand how Sanders is "considered a front-runner" after his victory in New Hampshire and his surge in national polls. Earlier in the week, he also faced backlash for suggesting that Sanders supporters are part of a "digital brownshirt brigade," which was called out by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

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"As we enter a contentious campaign season, it is incumbent upon leaders & pundits to refrain from using offensive comparisons to the Holocaust. Doing so only diminishes the memories of the 6M Jews who were killed by Nazis & Nazi sympathizers," the ADL tweeted.