Sanders: I Won’t Be as Naïve as Obama Was With Congress
Bernie Sanders believes that he would be better able to handle Congress than President Barack Obama.
He called the president naive and suggested that he was too strongly against compromise.
“Obama made a mistake by expecting that he could easily negotiate with the other party,” said Sanders.
“He thought he could walk into Capitol Hill and the Oval Office and sit down with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans and say, ‘I can’t get it all. You can’t get it all. Let’s work out something that’s reasonable,’ because he’s a reasonable guy. He’s a pretty rational guy,” Sanders said. “These guys never had any intention of doing [serious] negotiating and compromising … I think it took the president too long to fully appreciate that.”
Sanders made it clear that he wasn’t saying he would do a better job than Obama, but simply that he understood how to properly compromise and approach the opposing party.
“I don’t have any illusion that I’m going to walk in, and I certainly hope it is not the case but if there is a Republican House, and a Republican Senate that I’m going to walk in there and say, ‘Hey guys, listen. I’d like you to work with me on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,’” he said. “It ain’t gonna happen, I have no illusion about that. The only way that I believe that change takes place … is that tens of millions of people are going to have to stand up and be involved in the political process the day after the election.”
Sanders disputed Axelrod’s analogy of Sanders’ strong liberal views to conservative Republicans like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz who say the GOP has been too compromising with the other side and should stand on their principles.
“It sounds a little like the same argument which is it is better to be pure than to be pragmatic,“ Axelrod said.
“No, you didn’t hear me say that, that’s not what I said,” Sanders said.
“What I said is that, if you are good at politics, and you have 70 [percent]-80 percent of the people behind you in issues like raising the minimum wage or rebuilding our infrastructure or family and medical leave. You should win those fights and it’s not good enough to sit down with Boehner and say, ‘No, I can’t support’ — ‘Oh OK, guess we’re not going to do it.’”
Photo credit: CNBC.