Anderson Cooper, the moderator of CNN’s Democratic presidential town hall on Wednesday, asked Mr. Sanders whether Mr. Obama had disappointed the progressive movement. Mr. Sanders replied: “In some areas, for example in the trade area. Right now, I think they signed today the TPP in New Zealand. It is a continuation of bad trade policies. The president supports it. I strongly disagree with it.”
Mr. Sanders then pointed out although they disagree on trade, Mr. Obama has improved the overall economy during his tenure, and deserves credit for that.
Rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign quickly pounced on the opportunity to position her as the candidate best qualified to continue Mr. Obama’s success, saying Mr. Sanders simply doesn’t have the president’s “back.”
“Hillary Clinton believes we must build on the progress achieved under President Obama and that, no matter what, we can’t go backwards. Despite 70 consecutive months of private sector job growth and landmark legislation for universal health care and Wall Street reform, Senator Sanders has a troubling history of questioning President Obama and his achievements, and continues to do so,” her campaign said in a statement Wednesday night.
The statement then listed examples of Mr. Sanders‘ division with Mr. Obama, such as calling for a Democratic primary challenger in 2012 and saying the President had abandoned the movement that got him elected to the White House.
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