Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel warned a Bernie Sanders nomination could put the Democratic Party in peril.
Emanuel, a Democrat who was President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff from his inauguration until October 2010, told CBS This Morning on Monday that Sanders’s candidacy “is built on a false premise, strategically and policywise.”
“Bernie Sanders's view is, ‘I don’t want these moderate and fickle voters. We just have to turn out our base,'” Emanuel said. “His view is, ‘Forget the center. We just want to be left,' and that’s never been tried.”
Sanders, a 78-year-old Vermont senator and a socialist, has surged ahead of more centrist candidates in recent polls and has won the popular vote in the first three voting states.
Emanuel, who was mayor of Chicago from 2011 to 2019, said that “big urban and suburban turnout” is Democrats’ key to success in November and warned that Sanders is “an ideological risk” policywise.
“I don’t think there are 70 million waiting socialists to be woken who don’t know that they are socialists yet,” he said, adding that Democrats will need to reach out to centrist voters in order to win against President Trump.
He also contended that elections for other statewide offices would be at risk should Democrats put a socialist at the top of the ballot.
“It’s survival. That means you are not only risking the presidency, the Senate, and the House, the governorships, and all the statehouses for redistricting,” he said.
A RealClearPolitics national average of polls has Sanders leading with 28.8% support as of Tuesday. Former Vice President Joe Biden follows at 17.4% and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg registers 14.8% support.
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