The Washington Times - July 24, 2011, 09:44PM

In a radio interview with Thom Hartman recently, Senator Bernie Sanders, Vermont Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, told a caller (Ryan) he believed President Barack Obama has moved too far to the right and a more progressive candidate should primary the president in 2012. Transcript: (emphasis is mine) 


Let me just suggest this. I think there are millions of Americans who are deeply disappointed in the president who believe that with regard to social security and a number of other issues, he’s said one thing as a candidate and is doing something very much else as a president who cannot believe how weak he has been for what ever reason in negotiating with Republicans and there’s deep disappointment. So my suggestion is—I think one of the reasons the president has been able to move so far to the right is that there is no primary opposition to him, and I think it would do this country a good deal of service if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting what is a progressive agenda as opposed to what  Obama is doing. And I know people are demoralized, but we don’t have as Thom and I often say is despair is not an option, because its not just for us but its for our kids and our grandchildren. And I want people to keep something in mind.

A relatively small number of people called the tea party have had a very profound impact on American politics. I think that there are a lot more of us than there are of them. And I think when some of them who are working class people understand what they’re doing, they will join us.

But I think we have to give them credit. They have been tough. They have been organized. They have been putting pressure on their political leaders. It is incredible to what degree people like Eric Cantor have not compromised—have not backed down and they are winning.

So I would say to Ryan, discouragement is not an option.(2:05) I think that it would be a good idea if president Obama faced some primary opposition. Most importantly, people have got to educate, organize—bring people together—hold their elected officials accountable. 

Mr. Sanders call for a primary opponent for Mr. Obama comes at a time where a new CNN poll shows that the president is losing support among liberals rapidly. According to CNN his approval rating, “is down to 45 percent, driven in part by growing dissatisfaction on the left with the president’s track record in office.” Mr. Sanders has given no indication he is interested in throwing his hat in the ring and run against President Obama, though the Vermont Senator does have fans on the internet encouraging him to do so.