MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir said Friday evening after the eighth Democrat debate that he is seeing evidence of “growing acceptance” of his politics within the Democrat party.
When asked by a reporter what his response is to the “freakout” by moderate Democrats to Sanders’ popularity, he responded, “You call it freakout, from my perspective, from the beginning of this campaign we faced headwinds, concerns…back over four years when he was running in ’16.”
“Now if you go around and roam the halls of the Senate and you talk about Bernie Sanders…potentially winning this nomination, there’s not that same level of concern,” he said.
In fact what you’ll find is that people are much more willingness to understand that Bernie’s politics and policies have been good for the party — you get that sense setting in, and there will always be an establishment force, a Republican Party, and Democratic Party, and corporate forces who are concerned about the policies of Bernie Sanders.
He pointed to a moment on the debate stage on Friday where ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos asked the other candidates who opposed having a Democratic Socialist as the Democrat nominee and only Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) raised her hand.
“Everyone was kind of waiting to see if anyone would engage that question, and actually one of the stories there was like, people aren’t really hungry to say, jump into that and say, ‘Oh this would be a disaster.’ They didn’t do that,” he said. He continued:
While people will make their argument and raise their concerns in a professional manner, my perspective from campaign manager within this party, there’s much more growing acceptance of the fact that Bernie Sanders’ politics are good for the party, or could be good for this party, increasingly so.
His remarks come amid reports of panic among establishment Democrats that Sanders could be the Democrat Party nominee and after the Iowa Democrat caucus — where Sanders was expected to emerge victorious — ended with former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg beating him by a sliver.