- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 3, 2015

The rise of socialist Sen. Bernard Sanders has been a positive development for the Democratic party, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday.

Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent seeking the presidency as a Democrat, has made significant gains on party front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton in recent months. Mr. Sanders also has attracted huge crowds to rallies across the country, and the Obama administration believes his pitch has struck a chord with progressives.

“He is somebody who over the last several months … has been able to attract large, fired-up crowds of Democrats. That’s a good thing for the party,” Mr. Earnest said. “The president is pleased that there is some enthusiasm and some excitement on display about a variety of candidates in the Democratic field. That is going to lead to a robust debate and that is going to lead to a strong Democratic candidate in the general election.”

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