Bernie Sanders Group Joins Protest Fight Against Biden in Michigan Primary

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden holds a campaign rally ahead of the state's Democratic presidential primary, in Las Vegas, Nev., U.S. Feb. 4, 2024. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
February 15, 2024

A progressive group founded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) joined a protest effort against President Joe Biden in Michigan to encourage Biden to support a ceasefire in Israel's war in Gaza.

Our Revolution, which formed out of Sanders's failed presidential campaign in 2016, is encouraging Michigan's Democratic voters to select "Uncommitted" in the state's Feb. 27 presidential primary, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

"I am working with some people who feel like they will never vote for Joe Biden, but there are many, many, many I feel will vote for Joe Biden on Nov. 5 if he changes course," former congressman Andy Levin (D., Mich.), who is joining the effort after losing in a 2022 primary to fellow Michigan Democrat Rep. Haley Stevens, told the Times. "This is the best way I can help Joe Biden."

Local leaders began the effort in an attempt to show Biden that voters in Michigan—especially the state's large Arab-American and Muslim communities—have become alienated by his support for Israel. The campaign manager of Listen to Michigan, the group spearheading the effort, is Layla Elabed, Rep. Rashida Tlaib's (D., Mich.) sister.

That effort is not the only way Michigan's progressive Arab-American leaders have expressed their discontent with Biden's Middle East policy. Abdullah Hammoud (D.), the mayor of Dearborn, a city with a huge Arab and Muslim community, declined to meet with Biden's national campaign manager due to the war.

Biden has tapped Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D.), who is popular in Michigan, to campaign for him. Last week, she tried to remind voters about the stakes of the upcoming presidential race, in which Biden will likely face off against former president Donald Trump.

"There's a lot at stake in this upcoming election and I would just encourage people not to lose sight of that, too," Whitmer told the Detroit Free Press. "A potential second term for the former president would be very hard on all the communities that are still being impacted by what's happening overseas as well, and that's something that shouldn't be lost on people's calculation, too."