Senior Sanders Campaign Advisor Tad Devine confirmed for the first time that Sen. Bernie Sanders is a Democrat on MSNBC’s Hardball.
Transcript via MSNBC’s Hardball:
CM: If he [Bernie Sanders] gets the nomination of the Democratic Party, will he become a Democrat?
Devine: He is. He’s running as a Democrat. In this campaign he decided to run for the Democratic Party nomination. He’s running as a Democrat.
CM: He is a Democrat? Is he a member of the Democratic Party?
Devine: He can’t technically be a member of the party because there’s no registration in Vermont.
CM: Is he a Democrat?
Devine: Yes, he’s running as a Democrat.
CM: I thought he was a Socialist. Which is it?
Devine: Well, his philosophy is Democratic Socialist.
CM: Oh, I thought that his title was Socialist?
CM: He’s an Independent in the caucus. He is a member of the Democratic Caucus in the Senate, but he’s not a member He’s an Independent member of the Democratic caucus of the Senate, but he’s not a member of the caucus.
Devine: He’s a member of the Democratic Caucus.
CM: But he’s not a Democrat.
Devine: He’s running as a Democrat for President of the United States. He signed an affidavit.
CM: Ok. I personally – don’t argue with me it’s a weird situation. He’s now a Democrat because in the past he’s ran against Democrats. He ran against Democrats for mayor. He ran against Democrats for Congress.
Devine: In this campaign, he decided to run for the Democratic Party nomination. He’s running as a Democrat.
CM: He is a Democrat.
Devine: Yes – I’m glad we resolved that.
CM: Well, I didn’t know he changed parties. He..
Devine: He didn’t change party. If he could register he would, but he can’t.
CM: I think that’s a technical point. I’ll take him at his word. He’s a socialist which is fine with me.
Devine: He’s a Democratic Socialist.
If Sanders could register as a Democrat, he would, but that isn’t how things work in Vermont. Sen. Sanders has had a long and close relationship with the Democratic Party. Sanders is a friend of both President Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Sanders has such a good relationship with the Democratic Party that he was given an important promotion to Ranking Member on the Senate Budget Committee.
The fact is that Senator Sanders is not as far out of the mainstream of the Democratic Party as the media and many of his opponents like to suggest that he is.
Whether Sen. Sanders is or isn’t a Democrat isn’t that important. If Bernie Sanders became the Democratic nominee, he would be a Democrat. This is why the Democratic Party has had no problem with Bernie Sanders running for their nomination. Sen. Sanders may not be a Democrat in registration, but his values align with the Democratic Party.
It is good for voters to know that Bernie Sanders is not some outsider in Independent running for the Democratic nomination. Bernie Sanders is running as a Democrat for the nomination.
With that settled, Democrats have real issues to discuss and an election to win in 2016.