Sanders Doesn’t Know if Jon Ossoff Is a Progressive

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) / Getty Images

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said in an interview Tuesday that he does not know whether Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff is a progressive.

Sanders, a self-declared socialist, became an influential voice in liberal politics after challenging Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary for president. He has also mobilized strong opposition against President Trump.

But the Vermont senator did not appear to know much about Ossoff, the 30-year-old Democrat running to win a vacant House seat in Georgia's sixth congressional district. Former Rep. Tom Price vacated the seat earlier this year after being confirmed as secretary of health and human services.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sanders said that not all Democrats are necessarily progressives.

"If you run as a Democrat, you're a Democrat," Sanders said. "Some Democrats are progressive and some Democrats are not."

Sanders was then asked if Ossoff is a progressive.

"I don't know," Sanders replied.

Ossoff has been counting on uniting Democrats in Georgia's special election. He came in first place after Tuesday's vote but did not reach the 50-percent threshold needed to clinch a victory. Therefore, he will face a runoff election in June against Republican Karen Handel, the no. 2 vote-getter.

Ossoff's race has drawn nationwide attention, including from those opposed to Trump. Some have even traveled to help campaign for Ossoff, who has received millions of dollars from out-of-state donors, with substantial amounts coming from Hollywood. Around 95 percent of donations to Ossoff's campaign have come from outside of Georgia.

Jack Heretik

Jack Heretik   Email Jack | Full Bio | RSS
Jack is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He is from Northern Ohio and graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2011. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Jack was a Production Assistant for EWTN's The World Over and worked on Sen. Bill Cassidy's 2014 campaign.