In today’s interview with Larry King on Ora TV, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had something interesting to say about the younger Barack Obama who won the presidency in 2008. He came into the Oval Office in 2009 with the naïve attitude that he would be able to negotiate with the Republican Party.
“I would say my main criticism of Barack Obama is that he seemed to think when he came in, and in the ensuing years, that he could negotiate with right-wing extremists who really had no intention of ever negotiating,” the Senator told Larry King. “When you’re in politics, Larry — and I’ve been in politics a while — negotiation is part of what politics is about. But you cannot negotiate with people who refuse to negotiate, who really want to politically destroy you.”
The GOP has often attacked the president for what they call a refusal to negotiate on key issues, but fail to mention when they talk about negotiations they simply mean giving into their demands, not meeting in the middle or sharing the burden on specifics while passing laws.
Sanders did go onto say he liked the president personally very much and thought he was a highly intelligent man, but that he should have gone into office and took a firm stance against the GOP and made them an offer they could not refuse.
“And that is, if they did not support legislation like raising the minimum wage, like a massive jobs program to put our people back to work, rebuild our infrastructure — they would pay a political price for that because you had an educated and organized population ready to get involved politically.”
Obama failed to capitalize on the political capital he gained when taking office and the massive momentum he had from young, energized voter. He instead pandered too far to the right, leaving many who voted for him feeling disenfranchised. This helped lead to the GOP taking the house in the following mid-term elections.
This same attitude could very well lead to the Democrats losing the Senate in November.
In the last few months Obama has begun to sound like the radical liberal that was voted into office, but it may be too late for him to have capitalized on what the nation wanted from him to begin with.
Watch Sanders’ interview with Larry King.
(h/t Huffington Post)