As Sanders, 78, has cemented front-runner status in the Democratic primary, veteran party operatives, prominent liberal figures and elected officials are sounding the alarm. It’s not unlike Republican establishment freak-out as Trump barreled toward the GOP nomination four years ago. Top Democrats warn that Sanders would lose to the president and be a disaster for the party down-ticket. Here is a sampling:
Mark Mellman, veteran Democratic pollster based in Washington
“Democrats say defeating Trump is what’s most important to them … We think Sanders is very poorly positioned to do that.” The Guardian, January 31, 2020
Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas
“I’m a Democrat … I think it would be difficult to have a socialist at the top of the ticket. I think he clarifies it and says ‘a democratic socialist,’ but a socialist is a socialist, whether it’s Republican socialist or democratic socialist, if there is such a thing.” The Hill, February 11, 2020
Rahm Emanuel, former Chicago mayor and Barack Obama’s first White House chief of staff.
“In the last hundred years, three Democrats have won reelection for president: Franklin Roosevelt, President Clinton, Barack Obama,” Emanuel said. Their strategies were based on assembling “an urban, suburban, metropolitan coalition,” he continued. “Bernie is saying ‘Forget that. Screw it. … ” The Hill, February 25, 2020
Hillary Clinton, Democratic nominee for president in 2016
“He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney, and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”
The Hollywood Reporter, January 21, 2020
Joe Lieberman, Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000 and former Connecticut senator
“When you look at [Sanders’s] programs, it would change America. The government would take over most of the economy, and if his programs, as he’s advocated, were ever adopted, America would be bankrupt. Fox Business, February 12, 2020
Follow the link above to read quotes from 19 other prominent Democratic critics of Sanders.