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Eric The Fruit Bat4/20/2019 4:41:53 pm PDT

Karl Rove looked at Sanders performance on Fox, and thinks Trump may actually have something to worry about should he come out of the Thunderdome: Republican Strategist Karl Rove says Bernie Sanders could beat Trump in 2020

Republican strategist Karl Rove, the man behind both of George W. Bush’s successful presidential campaigns, thinks Democratic contender Bernie Sanders could beat Donald Trump in 2020 to become the next president.

After watching the Vermont senator’s Monday Fox News town hall, Rove complimented Sanders on Fox and Friends Friday, saying participating in the event was a “smart move on his part.” He was also impressed with the response Sanders got, saying, “Bernie comes on to Fox, and gets the largest viewership of any campaign event thus far.”

Rove’s appearance on Fox News followed an editorial he wrote for the Wall Street Journal, in which the former White House deputy chief-of-staff argued Sanders proved himself a “serious contender” during the town hall because of how he directly answered questions — from both the moderators and the audience — about his tax returns, health care, and his electability in the large field of Democratic candidates vying for their party’s nomination.

Sanders also won over his audience. When the moderators asked the town hall’s participants to raise their hands if they were in favor of Medicare for all, something President Trump has criticized, and a fair number of audience members raised their hands hands, cheering loudly. This visibly surprised the Fox News anchors.

This reaction, and Sanders’ performance overall, has Rove thinking Trump needs to keep an eye on Sanders.

After seeing his performance Monday, Rove doesn’t believe the Democratic primary will work in the same way it did in the last election. In his Wall Street Journal piece, Rove said beating Sanders by attacking his democratic socialist views “won’t be as easy as Republicans may think.”

And according to the strategist, Sanders is increasingly on the minds of Trump campaign officials. “Some of the Trump campaign people said ‘You know what? We’re paying attention to this guy,” Rove said. “We’ve got to take him seriously.’”