‘It’s hard for me to think of an actual, legitimate Democratic candidate who would stand on stage with him here…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) prepares to campaign for Democratic congressional candidates and feel out a potential 2020 presidential bid, South Carolina Democrats have said it would be better for the party if Sanders “got lost.”
South Carolina is a heavily Republican state, and some Democrats have said Sanders’ progressive, socialist views will further polarize voters away from the Democratic agenda.
Amanda Loveday, the state’s one congressional Democrat, said Sanders’ trip to South Carolina is not in the best interest of the Democratic Party, according to the Associated Press.
“I just think it’s extremely selfish of Bernie Sanders to think he could walk into South Carolina without an invitation from a candidate and think he’s going to be welcomed with open arms,” Loveday said. “It’s hard for me to think of an actual, legitimate Democratic candidate who would stand on stage with him here.”
Boyd Brown, a former Democratic state representative, said Sanders’ message — which proposes free public college tuition, a “Medicare for All” healthcare plan, and a $15 per hour minimum wage — is too extreme, especially in a state where voters lean right.
“Bernie does not resonate in South Carolina,” Brown said. “He’d be doing us all a favor if he just got lost.”
Charleston County Democratic Party Chairman Brady Quirk–Garvan said even when Sanders ran for president in 2016, many moderate Democrats did not agree with his platform.
“Even back then, most Democrats were not on board with what he was pitching,” Quirk–Garvan said. “For many, even people who backed Sen. Sanders in the primary, they’re looking for some new ideas.”
A progressive group, Our Revolution, announced its South Carolina branch had invited Sanders to campaign in the state, but only one Democratic state representative is set to join Sanders.
“If he comes to South Carolina, he’ll have his 15 people show up,” Brown said. “I hope it’s worth it to him, because he’d doing greater damage to the party overall.”