Sanders Says He Doesn't Know Who Would Step Up to Primary Obama
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said this weekend he still expects President Obama to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2012, and doesn't know of anyone who might step forward to challenge Obama.
Sanders said he still supports the concept of a primary challenge for Obama, because, Sanders said, even Republicans have done a better job of keeping their campaign promises than Obama.
"I don't know of anybody in mind, but I am sure there are serious and smart people out there who can do it," Sanders said of the prospect of a primary challenge during C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program, airing on the network this weekend.
"Here's the point: If you're asking me, do I think that, at the end of the day, Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic candidate for president in 2012? I do," Sanders said. "But do I believe that it is a good idea for our democracy and for the Democratic Party … that people start asking the president some hard questions about why said one thing during his previous campaign, and is doing another thing today on Social Security, on Medicare."
Some liberals have expressed frustration toward Obama for compromising on campaign promises and party principles, especially in his negotiations with House Republicans since they retook control of the House. The recent debt-ceiling deal, and the compromise extension of President George W. Bush's tax cuts last December angered liberals who were already deeply frustrated with the president.
Consumer activist Ralph Nader has said he's recruiting candidates to run against Obama, but there appears to be little other appetite in other quarters of the Democratic Party for waging a primary challenge to Obama.
Sanders said Republicans had done an even better job of living up to their campaign promises than Obama.
"They said that we will not support one nickel of new taxes for millionaires and billionaires and for large corporations. And you know what? They've kept their word," he charged. "I think it's a disaster for the country, but they have to be complimented. And I contrast that to some Democrats, including the president, who said, 'Well, when I run for office, this is what I'm telling you, but now, guess what, I've changed my mind.' "