CNN's John Avlon says President Trump wants to "promote Bernie's rise" to "trap" Democrats into endorsing socialism.
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey guys, well, it turns out a very unlikely fan of Bernie Sanders is Donald Trump...
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We must and we will defeat the most dangerous President in the modern history of America.
AVLON: That hasn't stopped Donald Trump from consistently pumping up Sanders chances.
TRUMP: Crazy Bernie. I don't know maybe he's really surging. He really is. Bernie is surging. There is no question about it. And Bernie seems to be the one the party wants.
AVLON: Yes, as much as he's also backed up on Twitter. Another surprising Sanders' defender is Donald Trump Jr. who re-tweeted this video of Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg appearing to insult farmers. Now Bloomberg claims it was misleadingly edited but also tweeting it out was you guessed it Bernie Sander's people.
And it is not the first time that either Donald rush Bernie's aide with both repeating the charge that the Democratic Primary is somehow rigged against him. Speaking of primaries, it is one of the radio show host Hugh Hewitt went so far to announce that he'd vote for Bernie.
HUGH HEWITT, RADIO SHOW HOST: Because it's Virginia, I get to vote in the Democratic Primary. I'm voting for Bernie Sanders.
AVLON: And that movement has picked up steam with South Carolina Republicans pushing their people to vote for Sanders in their primary. Why are all these Team Trump folks suddenly feeling the burn? Well, as Admiral Akbar might say -"It's a Trap"- and the reason is the "S" word socialism.
Mr. Meghan ropes under the headline "Bernie Sanders can't win" in the "The New York Times." The central message of the Sander's campaign is that the United States it's a political revolution. That may very well need one but most people don't think so.
The numbers would seem to back that up. Donald Trump does best running against a hypothetical socialist, beating him or he by an average of six points according to a poll taken last summer. But he loses to top tier Democrats, including Sanders who actually calls himself a Democratic socialist in a recent CNN poll. According to Gallup, only 39 percent of Americans have a positive view of socialism. Gallup also found that more Americans said they would vote for a gay, Muslim or atheist candidate than a socialist.
Meanwhile, Quinnipiac poll around the same time finds that less than a quarter of Democrats call themselves very liberal. Democrat voters more moderate, blue collar and older than you might think just by looking at the Twitter.
So given all of this, no surprise that Donald Trump wants to run against Bernie Sanders but don't take my word for it. There is an unnamed Trump Adviser told Axios "We're trying to promote Bernie's rise. The campaign has been pumping up the national messaging behind Bernie. When you attack his policies it gets the media to talk about them". This isn't subtle folks.
Sanders deserves credit for firing up the base and shifting the debate within the Democratic Party, but Team Trump understands their path to reelection will be demonizing Democrats as radical socialists to distract from the President's broad unpopularity.
That's why they want to run against an actual radical and self described Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders. It's a trap. And that's your "Reality Check".