Sanders: I don’t know if Ossoff is a progressive

Sanders: I don’t know if Ossoff is a progressive
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump's trade war — firing all cannons or closing the portholes? The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump rips 'ridiculous' spending bill | FBI dragged into new fight | Latest on Maryland shooting Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.) says he doesn't know whether Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, who came in first Tuesday in a closely watched Georgia special election, is a progressive.

“I don’t know,” he said Tuesday in Louisville, Ky., The Wall Street Journal said Wednesday. “If you run as a Democrat, you’re a Democrat.”

“Some Democrats are progressive, and some Democrats are not,” the 2016 presidential candidate added.

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Ossoff is projected to advance to a runoff in Georgia's 6th District after failing to capture a majority of votes cast.

The Democrat, however, led a crowded 18-candidate field in Tuesday’s all-party contest to fill the House seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Ossoff will compete with second-place finisher Karen Handel, a Republican, in a June 20 runoff.

Democrats rallied around Ossoff before Tuesday’s vote, hoping that the 30-year-old investigative filmmaker could deliver a major upset. Ossoff’s supporters cast the race in Georgia as a referendum on President Trump and an early indicator of the 2018 midterm elections.

Trump repeatedly criticized Ossoff’s record before Tuesday’s vote, casting a runoff there as a victory for Republicans.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that Ossoff’s failure to win the election outright is a “big loss” for Democrats.

“The Democrats went all in on this,” he said at his daily press briefing. “They said their goal was to go over 50 percent. They came up short.”

Democrats must flip at least two dozen seats to retake the House majority in 2018.