Bernie Sanders Flips Out On Sinema Over Switch, Screams 'Sabotage'
Senator Kyrsten Sinema's decision to leave the Democratic Party and become an independent has drawn mixed responses from the political world. Moderate Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) dismissed Sinema's defection, saying it makes no difference since she will still caucus with the Democrats. However, former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had a much different reaction. During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Sanders denounced Sinema, calling her a "corporate Democrat" and accusing her of "sabotaging" the party's program.
Senator Tester expressed his support for Sinema's move, saying that it was her right to make the decision and that it would not have any significant effect. He said that the Democratic Party was still unified in its mission of supporting the middle class and working families. He noted that the party has always been a "big tent" with members of many different backgrounds and political views.
“I was surprised that she made the change, but functionally, I don’t think it changes a thing,” Tester said. “I think we’re going to continue doing the same thing we were doing, whether she’s an independent or part of the Democratic caucus.”
“It’s about keeping relationships in Washington, D.C., if you’re gonna get things done, and I think Kyrsten Sinema knows that,” he added. “And I think, whether she’s a Democrat or a Republican, that really doesn’t matter. The label doesn’t matter. What matters is, you’ve gotta have somebody in Washington, D.C., that wants to get things done and move things forward.”
WATCH: Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) says “functionally, I don’t think it changes a thing” that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is leaving the Democratic Party. @SenatorTester: “I look forward to working with her as I have in the past.” pic.twitter.com/zpauZoCckS
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) December 11, 2022
By contrast, Bernie Sanders had a very different reaction to Sinema's move. He referred to her as a "corporate Democrat" who was "sabotaging" the party's progressive agenda. He accused her of choosing to serve corporate interests over working families and said that her move would damage the Democratic Party's ability to effectively push for meaningful change in the country.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sanders rebuked Sinema for putting her electoral concerns ahead of the party’s agenda.
“I think the Democrats there are not all that enthusiastic about somebody who helped sabotage some of the most important legislation that protects the interests of working families and voting rights and so forth. So, I think it really has to do with her political aspirations for the future in Arizona.”
“She is a corporate Democrat who has, in fact, along with [West Virginia Democratic] Senator [Joe] Manchin, sabotaged enormously important legislation,” he added.
"She's a corporate Democrat ... "
— CNN (@CNN) December 11, 2022
In the end, Senator Sinema's decision to become an independent has sparked a passionate debate within the Democratic Party. While Senator Tester has chosen to support Sinema's decision, Bernie Sanders has taken a much more critical stance. It remains to be seen how this will affect the future of the Democratic Party and its progressive agenda in the years to come.