The Washington Post slammed Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Pence-linked group launches 0K ad campaign in West Virginia praising Manchin Senators huddle on path forward for SALT deduction in spending bill MORE in its lead editorial on Thursday, saying he is peddling "fiction” to progressive voters.
“Mr. Sanders is not a brave truth-teller,” the editorial stated. "He is a politician selling his own brand of fiction to a slice of the country that eagerly wants to buy it."
The critical opinion piece comes days before the Iowa caucuses, where Sanders is seeking to defeat Hillary Clinton. A win by Sanders in Iowa could change a race many said was Clinton's for the taking.
The editorial is also likely to enrage some of Sanders's supporters, who see him as standing up to establishment interests.
The Post editorial argues that the Vermont senator needs a "reality check" for his suggestion that Wall Street is behind the country's economic problems, including income inequality.
“Here is a reality check: Wall Street has already undergone a round of reform, significantly reducing the risks big banks pose to the financial system,” it said.
“The evolution and structure of the world economy, not mere corporate deck-stacking, explained many of the big economic challenges the country still faces,” the article continued. "Even with radical campaign finance reform, many Americans and their representatives would still oppose the Sanders agenda.”
It also says Sanders is like other politicians who tell their supporters what they want to hear while ignoring counterpoints.
“Mr. Sanders’ success so far does not show that the country is ready for a political revolution. It merely proves that many progressives like being told everything they want to hear," it said.
“He assures Democrats concerned about the political obstacles in the way of his agenda that he will lead a ‘political revolution’ that will help him clear the capital of corruption and influence-peddling,” it said.
“This self-regarding analysis implies a national consensus favoring his agenda when there is none and ignores the many legitimate checks and balances in the political system that he cannot wish away.”
Sanders has styled himself as a political insurgent battling well-entrenched interests in Washington.
Polls suggest his message has been winning over many Democratic voters, particularly young people.