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Bernie Sanders Throws Cold Water on Jon Ossoff’s Primary Win

“I don’t know” if Ossoff is a progressive, Sanders told the Wall Street Journal about the 30-year-old Georgian…

The day after Democrat Jon Ossoff failed to hit 50 percent in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District jungle primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appeared to throw cold water on Ossoff’s win, which qualifies him for a runoff election in June:

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in an interview Tuesday in Louisville, Ky., said he didn’t know much about Mr. Ossoff, a 30-year-old former House staffer. Mr. Sanders said he isn’t prepared to back Democrats just because of a party label.

“If you run as a Democrat, you’re a Democrat,” he said. “Some Democrats are progressive and some Democrats are not.”

Asked if Mr. Ossoff is a progressive, Mr. Sanders, an independent who challenged Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary, demurred. “I don’t know,” he said.

Sanders’ remarks to the Wall Street Journal reflect his uneasiness over Ossoff’s evasive answers on policy specifics. Comparatively, Sanders is heading to Montana next month to campaign for Democrat Rob Quist, who is engaged in another special election, this one to replace Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

During the 2016 presidential primary, Sanders called into question Hillary Clinton’s progressive credentials:

When asked by a reporter if Clinton is a true progressive, Sanders said, “Some days, yes. Except when she announces that she is a proud moderate, and then I guess she is not a progressive.”

“I think, frankly, it is hard to be a real progressive and to take on the establishment in a way that I think has to be taken on, when you come as dependent as she has through her super PAC and in other ways on Wall Street and drug-company money,” he continued.

It’s hard to say if Sanders feels this way about Ossoff. Given his remarks, though, it seems unlikely he will be campaigning in Georgia any time soon.