- Sen. John Fetterman has a message for progressives: support Joe Biden.
- The Pennsylvania Democrat says that supporting anyone besides Biden is the same as supporting Trump.
- He recalled his time serving as a Clinton surrogate in 2016, even after he supported Sanders.
Sen. John Fetterman has a message for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party: get in line behind President Joe Biden.
“Get behind Joe Biden’s policies, or you’re gonna get behind Trump’s policies,” said the Pennsylvania Democrat.
Fetterman made the remarks during a sit-down with reporters in his Senate office on Tuesday, answering questions with the help of a tablet that displays an instant transcript of reporters’ spoken questions. He continues to recover from an auditory processing disorder caused by a stroke that happened during the 2022 campaign.
To illustrate his point, Fetterman hearkened back to his own support for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign as the mayor of Braddock, even after he had supported Sen. Bernie Sanders during the primary.
“In 2016, you know, I was a surrogate for Senator Clinton. And it’s just like, you have a choice,” said Fetterman. “And if you don’t get behind Senator Clinton, you know, you are voting for Trump. And that’s exactly what happened in Pennsylvania, and it’s devastating.”
“Now we know how Trump is like, now you’re just gonna be like ‘nah, I don’t like [him],'” Fetterman continued. “I will never understand that.”
Fetterman isn’t the only major progressive backing Biden. Both Sanders and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have also endorsed the incumbent president, despite their occasional criticisms from the left.
During the briefing on Tuesday, Fetterman also argued that the 2024 election would be “less about issues” affecting voters personally and more about the dueling personalities of Biden and Trump.
“At the end of the day, like, do you think Donald Trump is going to be talking about issues and, you know, his white papers?” asked Fetterman. “It’s just gonna be about, you know, decency.”
And the Pennsylvania senator insisted that he would not formally endorse Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego’s campaign for Senate in Arizona, recalling a conversation with Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in which he said he would remain “neutral on all of that.”
That’s despite the senator previously suggesting that he would support Gallego, along with the fact that his top political strategist is now working for the Arizona congressman.
“I respect him, but I’m not campaigning for him. I’m not donating to him,” said Fetterman. “Just because members of my team are involved, doesn’t mean that somehow that means I’m going to be involved.”
Last week, during a similar briefing with reporters, Fetterman referred to the potential impeachment of President Biden as a “big circlejerk on the fringe right.”