Rahm Emanuel: Bernie Is More Likely to Rupture the Party Than to Win Swing Voters

February 2, 2020

Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel on Sunday argued that supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) could work against the party in the general election if he fails to reassure swing voters.

Emanuel argued that Sanders's insurgent campaign could lead to a deep fissure among Democrats, many of whom support Sanders against the party establishment.

"The fact is one of the threats to the party right now is a rupture in the core, and it played out in 2016," Emanuel said on ABC's This Week.

"In this case, we have an opening if we have a candidate who actually reassures people that they will actually govern without this—the people don't want four more years of this tweet chaos and conflict, and they are exhausted. They're not angry, which is where Democrats are. They're exhausted," Emanuel also said. "We as a party, to win Arizona, to win Wisconsin, to win in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and to be viable in North Carolina, need a candidate who moves those swing moderate voters."

Sanders is probably the beneficiary of all the anger in the Democratic Party over President Donald Trump, Emanuel argued, which may ultimately make the Democrats less effective at the ballot box.

Emanuel, who was a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and chief of staff to President Barack Obama, penned an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend going after progressives for attacking former Democratic presidents like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton as opposed to focusing on President Donald Trump.

"Admittedly, today's landscape is much friendlier for progressive ideas than it was when either Mr. Clinton or Mr. Obama was running for office. Yet, we risk squandering that opportunity fighting pointless battles over whether these successful presidents properly calibrated their agendas to yesterday's limitations," Emanuel wrote.