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April 26, 2016

Sanders on Fetterman: 'I honestly don't know John'

Presidential candidate asked at town hall why he hasn't endorsed John Fetterman

Senate candidate John Fetterman was the first and so far only statewide candidate in Pennsylvania to endorse Bernie Sanders, announcing proudly in January, "We stand together as the most progressive candidates in our respective races."

Sanders, however, hasn't endorsed him back. When asked why not at a town hall event in Philadelphia on Monday, one day before Pennsylvanians vote in the primaries, Sanders said that "I just don't know enough about John" to endorse him.

Here's the full exchange between journalist Chris Hayes and Bernie Sanders, according to the MSNBC transcript:

HAYES: So there's — there's other folks, um, who have been running — talking about some of those same things. Um, you've — you've endorsed a few of them, raised money for a few of them.

There's a guy here in — in Pennsylvania named John Fetterman. He's the mayor of a town named Braddock.


HAYES: I had him on the show, an interesting guy. The town has had a really hard time because of trade, because of the steel industry essentially dying.

He endorsed you. He says he feels basically like he's a — sitting there without a — with a corsage, waiting for the — (INAUDIBLE) the Sanders mutual endorsement. 

SANDERS: Well, I — I honestly don't know John and I've heard just a little bit about him. Um, what we are trying to do now, we have endorsed and gotten some money to some candidates and I hope they win. I just don't know enough about, uh, John, to be honest with you.

The candidates who Sanders has endorsed and raised money for are Zephyr Teachout of New York, Lucy Flores of Nevada and Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, according to Politico. All three are women running for the House of Representatives.

Two recent polls put Fetterman's support in the single digits, but another survey conducted by Harper Polling from April 21st to 23rd put his support at 15 percent, compared to 33 percent for Joe Sestak and 39 percent for Katie McGinty.