Dem Lawmaker Says Moderate House Dems are “Terrified” of Bernie Being Nominee

Moderate House Democrats are “terrified” of Bernie Sanders being at the top of the ticket, according to Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) “They’re terrified. Very few people see Bernie as electable.”

Beyer has endorsed Pete Buttigieg for President.

ABC reports the strong showing by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary has moderate Democrats on Capitol Hill concerned that, if the self-described democratic socialist wins the party’s presidential nomination, it could jeopardize efforts to protect their House majority and take control of the Senate.

Sanders and his allies, however, believe his campaign will spur voter turnout, helping Democrats in local and statewide races across the country.

But in interviews and private conversations with roughly a dozen House Democrats across the political spectrum, many told ABC News they feared that Sanders and his proposals, including Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal and tuition-free college, could alienate independent voters in the suburbs and exurbs who helped deliver the House majority to Democrats in 2018.

“It could be challenging in parts of the country that we have to win in order to win the presidency and win a majority in the Senate,” Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a centrist who dropped his own White House bid after the New Hampshire primary, said Thursday of a Sanders’ nomination.

Rep. Anthony Brindisi, a New York Democrat fighting for reelection in a district carried by Trump in 2016, wouldn’t commit to supporting Sanders if he becomes the party’s nominee for president.

“He won’t be the party’s nominee,” he said Thursday when repeatedly asked if he’d support Sanders in the general election. “I’ve made it clear that I think we should nominate a more moderate candidate who has the ability to reach across the aisle and get things done.”

Republicans, who control the Senate, and need to flip nearly 20 seats to take back the House, have wasted no time playing up Sanders’ front-runner status.

“This is not the Democratic Party we know of the past,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Thursday. “This is a new socialist Democratic party. And those aren’t my words. That’s what AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.] calls herself. Same as Bernie Sanders, and that’s probably where they’re going to end up in the nomination.”