Sen. Bernie Sanders: It Took Obama Years To Learn He Couldn't Negotiate With GOP

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said President Barack Obama was naive about how difficult it would be to negotiate with the GOP, a lesson it took the president years to learn.

"I would say my main criticism of Barack Obama is that he seemed to think when he came in, and in the ensuing years, that he could negotiate with right-wing extremists who really had no intention of ever negotiating," Sanders told Larry King in an interview for Ora.tv's "Politicking." "When you’re in politics, Larry -- and I’ve been in politics a while -- negotiation is part of what politics is about. But you cannot negotiate with people who refuse to negotiate, who really want to politically destroy you."

Sanders went on to say that the president should have made Republicans "an offer they couldn't refuse."

"And that is, if they did not support legislation like raising the minimum wage, like a massive jobs program to put our people back to work, rebuild our infrastructure -- they would pay a political price for that because you had an educated and organized population ready to get involved politically," he said in the interview, which is scheduled to air Thursday night.

Sanders said Obama is otherwise an "extraordinary intelligent" man whom he likes personally.

This isn't the first time Sanders has spoken out about Obama's relationship with Republicans. In a September edition of "The Ed Show," Sanders told host Ed Schultz that "this country is never going to go forward unless we end said right-wing rule in the House." Obama has to address such obstructionism, he said at the time.

In his most recent interview with King, Sanders also said he hasn't yet made a decision on whether to pursue a 2016 presidential run. He noted he would need "an unprecedented grass-roots movement" to run a successful campaign. Sanders has made similar statements about a potential presidential run recently.

The full interview will be posted at Ora.tv at 9:30 p.m. ET Thursday.



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