Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton slammed her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, calling his policy proposals “ideas that sound good on paper but will never make it in the real world.”
During a Jan. 21 campaign stop in Indianola, Iowa, Clinton told her supporters that Sanders’ political ideas excite Democratic voters because they’re radical but that does not make them workable, ABC News reports.
“Now in theory, there is a lot to like about some of his ideas,” Clinton told the crowd, according to ABC News. “But in theory, is it enough? A president has to deliver in reality.”
Clinton barely acknowledged Sanders’ candidacy in the summer of 2015, but the Vermont senator has since gained ground, leading the former Secretary of State in New Hampshire polls and nipping at her heels in Iowa. As the Sanders campaign catches momentum, Clinton has finally begun tackling her opponent’s policy ideas head-on.
Her main concern about Sanders’ platform is his proposal to introduce a single-payer health care system that would pave over President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act (ACA), a health care system that Republicans are already fighting tooth and nail to dismantle.
Clinton also voiced concerns about Sanders’ alleged disinterest in foreign policy.
“Now, Senator Sanders doesn’t talk much about foreign policy, but when he does it raises concerns, because sometimes it can sound like he hasn’t really thought it through,” Clinton said.
Clinton isn’t alone in thinking that Sanders’ vision just isn’t achievable or electable.
“Sanders’ ideas are deeply felt, but at the same time he has really overreached,” Drew Westen, an Emory University psychology professor, told The New York Times. “The average American is not going to buy into a vision of the federal government running one big health care program. Many people are actually afraid of that idea.”
There is a growing fear among establishment Democrats that, if Sanders were to beat out Clinton for the party nomination, his self-described socialist worldview would be a deal-breaker for general election voters.
Many Democratic insiders remain haunted by the presidential blowouts of George McGovern in 1972 and Walter Mondale in 1984 -- two unabashedly liberal presidential candidates who lost badly in their general election contests.
“Democratic voters don’t want that to happen again,” former Democratic senator John Breaux of Louisiana said.
President Obama weighed in on the two candidates’ contrasting style during a recent interview with Politico.
While the President did not openly endorse either candidate over the other, he did describe Sanders as a “bright, shiny object” that has caught voters’ attention.
However, while he praised Sanders’ ideals, he added that Clinton has proven that she can actually accomplish her goals.
"I think that what Hillary presents is a recognition that translating values into governance and delivering the goods is ultimately the job of politics, making a real-life difference to people in their day-to-day lives," Obama said.