Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is holding the line on budget negotiations, making stringent demands that have led to a federal government shutdown, but the self-identified democratic socialist sang a very different tune in 2013 when the shoe was on the other foot.
Five years ago, when they controlled only the House of Representatives and were still reeling from their presidential election loss, Republican lawmakers demanded Democrats capitulate on funding for Obamacare.
The GOP wanted to defund the program before it was set to begin, but Democrats, of course, had none of it. The budget impasse that year lasted 16 days until Republican lawmakers finally caved in.
At that time, Democrats hammered their Republican colleagues over the debacle, calling their antics a “tantrum,” “extremist,” and akin to legislative arson. Sanders joined in on the liberal criticism, suggesting Republicans were throwing hardworking Americans “out on the street.”
Fast forward to present day, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney reminded the media of what exactly Sanders said at the time.
“Bernie Sanders, one of my favorite… by the way, this was of me back in 2013 of the group that was trying to figure out a way to force a debate on Obamacare repeal,” Mulvaney said before quoting the senator.
“‘What they are saying to the American people tonight is maybe we’ve lost the presidential election, maybe we’ve lost seats in the Senate and the House’ — this is Sanders talking in 2013 — ‘it doesn’t matter, we can now bring the government to a shutdown, throw some 800,000 hardworking Americans out on the street. We’re going to get our way no matter what.'”
Mulvaney, who served in the House of Representatives during the 2013 shutdown, was directly quoting Sanders.
“This is exactly what they accused the Republicans of doing back in 2013. There is absolutely no reason to have to insert a DACA discussion, an immigration discussion, into the funding bill today,” the director went on.
Mulvaney was calling out Sanders and Democrats for holding a double standard — criticizing Republicans five years ago for instigating a shutdown over legislative demands, but doing the same thing now over DACA, the program that protects young illegal immigrants from deportation.
When confronted with the recording of Mulvaney, Sanders appeared to have no recollection whatsoever of making those comments.
“That doesn’t sound like — I don’t recall saying anything like that,” the democratic socialist said on MSNBC Friday, appearing confused by the tape.
MSNBC host Ali Velshi did not care to challenge Sanders on his past statements, allowing him to point the finger at Republicans for the impasse in budget negotiations.
However, recordings of Sanders’ comments exist, as showcased in the above clip.
Sanders, speaking on the Senate floor, said the 2013 shutdown wasn’t about Obamacare at all, but because Republicans were shocked at the 2012 results and wished to “annul” the re-election of then-President Barack Obama.
Sanders continued on, saying almost verbatim what Mulvaney on Friday quoted him as saying.
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