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Rahm Emanuel: 'Panic would be the adjective to describe the mood' over Sanders

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) said Tuesday that the Democratic Party is starting to "panic" amid the surging presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

"I would say 'panic' would be the apt adjective to describe the mood right now," Emanuel, who also served as former President Obama's first chief of staff and as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2007, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"Since 1992 from Bill Clinton's election and reelection, Barack Obama's elections in '08 and '12 and the national midterm elections of 2006 and 2018, it's been one playbook of what I call a metropolitan majority between suburban and urban coming together to give Democrats a majority," he said.

Emanuel went on to say that a presidential campaign that doesn't "govern and run in a center-left fashion, but only left" would replicate the Labour Party's defeat in the U.K. in 2019.

"To me, it's not a risk worth taking," he said.

"I'm personally friendly with Sen. Sanders. I'm not a fan of the politics, I think it will lead to an electoral defeat when most of the country is looking for an alternative to Donald Trump," Emanuel added.

Establishment Democrats are increasingly sounding the alarm amid Sanders's strong performances in the early-voting states of the 2020 primary, fearing he may be too liberal for the general election.

At least one poll from this month, however, showed the Vermont senator as the candidate in the best position to defeat President Trump in November.