Bernie Sanders: Obama Not Tipping the Scales for Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., walks from the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, to speak to media after meeting with President Barack Obama. )
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Senator Bernie Sanders met with President Obama at the White House today to discuss the 2016 primary and his campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Sanders said that the pair discussed current political issues in a meeting that was “productive and constructive,” but he did not ask for Obama’s endorsement in the primary.

“What the president has tried to do, what Vice President Biden has tried to do, is be as even-handed as they can be,” he said. “I expect that they will continue to be that way.”

Sanders dismissed speculation that Obama was trying to “tip the scales” in favor of Clinton after speaking about her favorably in an interview with Politico. Obama described Clinton as “wicked smart” in the interview as well as “warm and funny.”

“I don’t believe that at all,” he said.

The White House has not confirmed whether or not Obama plans to endorse a preferred candidate in the Democratic primary.

Sanders said he was “feeling really good” about his campaign in Iowa, urging voters to turn out for him.

“I’m not saying we could do what Barack Obama did in 2008,” he said. “I wish we could, but I don’t think we can.”

Sanders reminded reporters that both he and Obama voted against the Iraq war, and he praised Obama for lowering the number of American military casualties in the Middle East.

“I think what the president is trying to do is the right thing, and what he is trying to do is to keep our young men and women in the military out of a perpetual war in the quagmire of the Middle East,” he said.

He also pointed out that he disagreed with Obama on issues like the trans-pacific partnership trade deal.

The pair met for about an hour this morning in Washington D.C.