Bernie Sanders: It Would Be A ‘Good Idea’ To Primary President Obama
Today, while appearing on Thom Hartmann’s radio show, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — who, while being an independent, caucuses with the Democrats — said that one way progressives can make sure Obama does not enact huge cuts to major social programs is to run a primary challenger against him. Sanders told a listener who called in to protest a debt ceiling deal that cuts Social Security that such a challenge would be a “good idea”:
SANDERS: Brian, believe me, I wish I had the answer to your question. Let me just suggest this. I think there are millions of Americans who are deeply disappointed in the president, who believe that with regard to Social Security and other things, he said one thing as a candidate and is doing something very much else as a president. Who cannot believe how weak he has been for whatever reason in negotiating with Republicans, and there’s deep disappointment. So my suggestion is, I think one of the reasons the president has made the move so far to the right is that there is no primary opposition to him and I think it would do this country a good deal of service if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting a progressive agenda as opposed to what Obama believes he’s doing. [...] So I would say to Ryan, discouragement is not an option. I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition.
Listen to it:
Sanders did not say that he himself would run in a primary against Obama as he is not a member of the Democratic Party.