‘Sanders is about the worst candidate we can put up…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) After Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, vulnerable congressional Democrats raised concerns that Sanders’s extreme proposals could hurt their reelection efforts if he becomes the Democratic nominee.
Freshman Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., said he won’t support Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., if either candidate becomes the nominee.
Brindisi, who co-chairs the centrist Blue Dog caucus, said it would be “exceedingly difficult” to convince the moderate voters he represents that Sanders is a good choice.
“I don’t think the people that I represent are looking for a president who supports abolishing private health insurance companies, and I don’t either,” he told The Post-Standard.
“I’m not endorsing Warren or Sanders,” he added. “I respect them, but the policies that they’re running on don’t necessarily align with my beliefs and the beliefs of many of the people I represent.”
Another centrist Democrat, freshman Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., agreed with Brindisi’s characterization. He said Sanders would have a difficult time winning swing states like Wisconsin and Michigan, according to The Hill.
On top of the chaos and political infighting that resulted from the Iowa Democratic Caucus’s technology failures last week, Democrats also expressed alarm with the surprisingly low turnout that the lackluster field of candidates had inspired.
Some are worried about more than the presidential election.
Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., warned that Sanders’s nomination could affect Congress in the general election if left-leaning moderates decide to stay home.
“Sanders is about the worst candidate we can put up,” Peters told The Hill. “He not only won’t likely win the presidency—he puts the House majority at risk.”
Regardless, Peters said he would help his party to circle the wagons behind their eventual candidate.
“I will support Bernie Sanders if he is nominated against Donald Trump,” he said. “I will do so enthusiastically—but I don’t think … putting a socialist on the ballot is a good strategy to defeat Donald Trump.”
As of right now, Brindisi is the only vulnerable Democrat vowing not to support Sanders if he wins the nomination.
Many of the other wary congressional Democrats admitted that if it comes down to it, they’ll stick with the party’s candidate—regardless of who it may be—over the alternative.
“I am behind whoever wins the nomination,” said Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va. “I don’t like some of their policies, but, you know…”