Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Sunday blasted newly registered Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona as a “corporate Democrat” and a saboteur of Democratic legislation after she ditched the Democratic Party last week.
Sanders said that Sinema “has her reasons” when asked about her decision to leave the Democratic Party during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I happen to suspect that it’s probably a lot to do with politics back in Arizona, I think, or the Democrats there are not all that enthusiastic about somebody who helped sabotage some of the most important legislation that protects the interests of working families and voting rights and so forth,” the democratic socialist said.
Sanders continued to excoriate Sinema over how she voted on Democrats’ legislation when asked if she has the “guts” to take on powerful special interests.
WHAT KYRSTEN SINEMA’S DEPARTURE FROM DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEANS FOR PIVOTAL ARIZONA SENATE SEAT
“She is a corporate Democrat who has, in fact, along with Sen. [Joe] Manchin, sabotaged enormously important legislation,” Sanders said of Sinema.
The former presidential candidate said he may even return a Democratic challenger should one be nominated to go against Sinema in 2024.
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“I support progressive candidates all over this country, people who have the guts to take on powerful special interests,” Sanders said. “I don’t know what’s going to be happening in Arizona. We’ll see who they nominate, but certainly that’s something I will take a hard look at.”
Sinema was first elected in 2018, winning a tight race against then-Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally.
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Arizona law will not allow her to run as a candidate of a particular political party if she is an Independent, making it likely that she will be forced to run in a 2024 general election against a future Democrat and Republican nominee if she seeks to win a second term.
Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.