Politics

Time magazine’s Joe Klein on GOP field: ‘This is Jonestown’

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

Time magazine’s Joe Klein is known for lobbing some bombs at right-wingers. In 2010, he accused former Fox News host Glenn Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of being close to “sedition.” Nearly two years later, Klein still has some tough words for conservatives.

On this weekend’s “The Chris Matthews Show,” Klein likened what he saw during recent GOP presidential debates to the 1978 Jonestown Massacre, an event in which more than 900 people died after they were given a deadly concoction of “purple drink mixed with cyanide, sedatives and tranquilizers.”

“I got to say, this is Jonestown. These guys have all drunk this Kool-Aid that spews from places like the Rush Limbaugh program and certain things on Fox. And I’ve done 10 of these, God help me. And I have never seen a field go so extreme and so intemperate and caricature their opposition as the antichrist as this field has. The last time I think we saw anything even remotely resembling this was the way Democrats felt about Richard Nixon in 1972. And you saw what happened to George McGovern.”

Some of the panelists on Matthews’ program suggested the eventual nominee might change direction and soften that perception. However, Klein was doubtful of that possibility.

“How does a guy like Mitt Romney, if he wins the nomination, make a pivot on immigration?” Klein said. “He has thoroughly offended Latinos in this country. They’ve gotten themselves so far out on a limb and they’re living — they are living in an alternative universe where Rush Limbaugh is God.”

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