Bernie Sanders reportedly threatened to launch a primary bid against former President Barack Obama back in 2012, prompting then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to intervene.
The Atlantic on Wednesday reported that Reid, D-Nev., discussed the possibility with Sen. Sanders, I-Vt., twice over the summer of 2011 to get him to abandon his presidential ambitions.
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According to the report, Sanders privately discussed challenging Obama with Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who reportedly warned Obama’s then-campaign manager Jim Messina. The Obama campaign was “absolutely panicked” over the prospect, the magazine reported.
Sanders did not end up launching a primary challenge against Obama. Sanders waited, running against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary, which he ultimately lost.
Sanders, though, is now out to a double-digit lead in a new national Democratic presidential primary poll released Wednesday, in his surging 2020 presidential bid. Sanders garnered 32 percent support in the ABC News/Washington Post poll, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 17 percent and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 14 percent.
Sanders has been boosted by a win in the New Hampshire primary and at least a top-two finish in the Iowa caucuses last month.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.