Bernie Sanders has some fundamental differences with President Barack Obama and his approach to governing in a partisan government. If he were to become commander in chief, he would not be as naive as the current president has been about working with a Republican-controlled Congress, the Democratic presidential candidate told a former top Obama adviser this week.
Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont whose policies are left of mainstream liberals, told David Axelrod that Obama made a "mistake" by expecting he could easily charm the other party into negotiating with him. “He thought he could walk into Capitol Hill and the Oval Office and sit down with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans and say, ‘I can’t get it all. You can’t get it all. Let’s work out something that’s reasonable,’ because he’s a reasonable guy. He’s a pretty rational guy,” Sanders said on the debut episode of “The Axe Files with David Axelrod” podcast.
“These guys never had any intention of doing [serious] negotiating and compromising,” Sanders added, according to a Politico report. “I think it took the president too long to fully appreciate that.”
When pressed further about it, Sanders didn't offer an explanation of how he would successfully compromise with GOP lawmakers. The only way things will get done with a divided Congress is if voters pay more attention and demand it, Sanders told Axelrod.
“I don’t have any illusion that I’m going to walk in -- and I certainly hope it is not the case, but if there is a Republican House and a Republican Senate -- that I’m going to walk in there and say, ‘Hey guys, listen. I’d like you to work with me on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour,’” Sanders said. “It ain’t gonna happen, I have no illusion about that. The only way that I believe that change takes place…is that tens of millions of people are going to have to stand up and be involved in the political process the day after the election.”