How Bernie Sanders' response to the Soleimani strike stands out

Brendan Morrow

Will today be remembered as the day that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) "locked up" the 2020 Democratic nomination?

Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, suggested Friday there's a "decent chance" of that, noting how Sanders' response to President Trump's ordering of a drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani stands out among the top candidates in the Democratic field.

Democratic presidential candidates have been weighing in on Trump's decision, with Sanders describing the strike as an "assassination" and a "dangerous escalation" that "brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars."

Though all of the 2020 Democrats were critical of Trump's decision, BuzzFeed notes that "Sanders took a different tone, one drawn from a wing of the party that has opposed American wars since Vietnam," while most other leading contenders "took more cautious" stands, being sure to begin their statements by condemning Soleimani.

Politico's Holly Otterbein made a similar observation, noting that while former Vice President Joe Biden noted that "no American will mourn Qassem Soleimani's passing" and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called Soleimani a "murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands," Sanders' statement "does not have such a beginning."



Sanders was initially the only one of the Democratic candidates to describe the killing as an assassination, though Warren later on Friday did so as well.

Former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg also weighed in on Friday, releasing a statement that Smith described as "more Biden than Sanders," adding, "I'm just not sure which Democratic primary voters want this."

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