Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) says he will not compromise with Republicans in Congress if he becomes president, citing the “mistake” President Barack Obama allegedly made in doing so.
“I think a keen mistake that the president made is that he refused to recognize that reality — that these guys (Republicans) were never serious about compromise,” Sanders said in a meeting with the San Francisco Chronicle‘s editorial board on Tuesday.
“He kept extending an olive branch, and he kept getting his hand slapped. I do not believe that right-wing Republicans are prepared to work with a progressive president,” the “democratic socialist” presidential candidate said, calling for his “political revolution” to be implemented by having his fans contact members of Congress directly (something Obama requested on numerous occasions).
Republicans view the history of the Obama presidency differently, recalling a president who was uniquely uninterested in reaching out to the other side, even when there were areas of agreement. Republicans who supported the president’s plan for military action in Syria, for example, complained that Obama never bothered reaching out to them. And in the 2011 debt ceiling talks, Obama torpedoed a “grand bargain” on the country’s fiscal situation by making a last-minute demand for higher taxes, as even his own aides acknowledged.
Before he pushed his February 2009 stimulus bill through Congress, Obama famously ignored Republican suggestions, telling them simply, “I won.”
Nevertheless, Sanders echoed his no-compromise sentiment during a brief meet-and-greet with hundreds of his supporters in Oakland on Tuesday outside his campaign offices on Colorado Avenue there. “So that is what the political revolution is about. It’s not about only the progressive agenda, it is the understanding that real change never takes place unless millions of people stand up and fight back,” he said, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Sanders won Tuesday’s West Virginia Democratic primary and Nebraska caucus.
During his interview with the Chronicle, Sanders maintained that it was still possible for him to win the Democratic nomination without the required 2,383 delegates needed, by garnering 719 superdelegates instead. However, Clinton still maintains a strong lead over him in both pledged delegates and superdelegates, with 1,715 pledged delegates versus Sanders’ 1,428, and 523 to 39 superdelegates, respectively.
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