In a scathing editorial on Saturday, a major Vermont newspaper told its most prominent senator and former presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), not to throw his hat in the ring for the 2020 presidential election.
The Barre Montpelier Times Argus editors asserted that Sanders’ 2016 run was too divisive to the party and as a candidate, the self-described socialist was “exhausting.”
“In his previous run for the presidency, Sanders, an independent who ran for the White House as a Democrat, missed dozens of votes that likely would have helped Vermonters,” the editorial said.
Sanders was former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s primary rival during the 2016 race and appeared to present a populist alternative to Clinton and the Democrat establishment’s alleged elitism.
“We fear a Sanders run risks dividing the well-fractured Democratic Party, and could lead to another split in the 2020 presidential vote,” the editorial read. “There is too much at stake to take that gamble. If we are going to maintain a two-party system, the mandate needs to be a clear one.”
The editorial took a personal turn when it suggested that Sanders needed to cast aside his “ego” and step aside for other leadership. It added that while Sanders’ no-nonsense approach appealed to many, his personality was “abrasive.”
“He is known to be difficult to work with,” the editors said. “The 77-year-old can be bombastic and prickly. He can be dismissive and rude in his arrogance. You are either with Bernie Sanders or you are not.”
They even compared him to President Donald Trump, a man whom Sanders has fiercely criticized.
Mr. President, I doubt very much that you can “relate” to federal workers.
When is the last time you had to choose between paying your mortgage, feeding your family or putting gas in the car?
End the shutdown. Pay federal employees. https://t.co/rHm3gpmPMz
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 6, 2019
“It is as extreme,” they said of his no-nonsense approach, “on the other end of the spectrum in its policy elbow-throwing and idealism, as what we face today from the right in their standard bearer, Donald Trump.”
Sanders’ campaign came under scrutiny at the end of last month after news surfaced that his former campaign staff indicated sexual harassment and violence occurred during the 2016 race.
According to Politico, the advisers specifically requested a meeting with Sanders and his top advisers in order to discuss the issue.
When Sanders commented on the issue to CNN, he said that he apologized to anyone who felt mistreated and indicated to host Anderson Cooper that he was too busy to know about the allegations.
Watch his comments below:
“I was a little bit busy running around the country trying to make the case,” he said. Those comments were “inexcusable and insulting,” according to the editorial.
During his interview with CNN, Sanders also said that his 2018 campaign included training surrounding sexual harassment.