Sanders: ‘The Idea that I’ve Worked Against Barack Obama Is Categorically False’
STEPHANOPOULOS: "That is Martin O’Malley at a Democratic forum on Friday night in South Carolina, and the man he was talking about, Senator Bernie Sanders, joins us now. Thank you for joining us again, Senator Sanders. HE was bringing up that whole list of you not being a lifelong Democrat, being disloyal to President Obama. How do you respond to what Martin O’Malley said on Friday night?"
SANDERS: "Well, let me — let me respond. I am proud of the fact that I am the longest-serving Independent in the history of the United States Congress. That’s what the people of Vermont voted for. I made a decision in this presidential election that I will run as a Democrat; I am a Democrat now. And what I am going to do as the Democratic nominee, if we win this thing, and I think we have a good chance to do that, is to create a new and different type of Democratic Party to involve millions of people, George, who have given up on the political process — working class people and young people who today say, you know what? The economy is rigged; nothing I can do about it. Campaign finance system is corrupt, big money controls what’s going on. What I’m trying to do, with some success, is bring out large numbers of young people who are saying you know what? We’re going to recreate America. We’re going to transform America and create an economy that works for all of us, not just the billionaire class. We’re going to get rid of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision and create a vibrant democracy so that we don’t have the lowest voter turnout of almost any major country on Earth, but one of the largest. And strongest voter turnouts."
STEPHANOPOULOS: "But what about this issue of trying to gin up primary opposition to President Obama last time around?"
SANDERS: "Now, look, this is media stuff. What ends up happening — I do and done for years a radio show. Every single Friday with Tom Hartman. Somebody asked me years ago do you think there should be a primary opponent to Barack Obama? I don’t know exactly the words that I said. I said what’s wrong with a primary situation? The idea that I’ve worked against him —" [crosstalk]
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, here’s what you said — you said I think one of the reasons —"
SANDERS: "Well, let’s let them judge."
STEPHANOPOULOS: "Here’s what you said —"
SANDERS: "The idea that I’ve worked against Barack Obama is categorically false."
STEPHANOPOULOS: "OK. But you did — you did say —"
SANDERS: "I’m sorry? No, I did —"[crosstalk]
STEPHANOPOULOS: "— that you were talking, you would be talking to people a bit about having primary opposition."
SANDERS: "Well, the answer is I’ve worked very hard to see Barack Obama elected. He came to Vermont to campaign for me in 2006. I’ve worked for him in 2008. I’ve worked for him in 2012. And listen I think under incredible Republican obstructionism, Obama and Joe Biden have moved this country in a way that leaves a hell of a lot better than we were when Bush left office. Do I have disagreements with Barack Obama? Was I on the floor for 8.5 hours saying, no, we should not be giving any more tax breaks to the wealthy? Do I disagree with him on TPP? Yes, I do. But Barack Obama is a friend of mine; I think he’s been a very strong president and has taken this country extraordinarily difficult moment in history in a very positive way."