Bernie Sanders on Jon Ossoff: It's 'imperative' he be elected

Credit: Greg Bluestein

Credit: Greg Bluestein

After making some puzzling remarks on Democrat Jon Ossoff, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders gave him his full-throated endorsement on Friday.

"Let me be very clear. It is imperative that Jon Ossoff be elected congressman from Georgia's 6th District and that Democrats take back the U.S. House," said Sanders, a one-time presidential candidate, in a statement. "I applaud the energy and grassroots activism in Jon's campaign. His victory would be an important step forward in fighting back against Trump's reactionary agenda."

Sanders raised eyebrows earlier this week when he told The Wall Street Journal he isn't sure how progressive Ossoff is.

"If you run as a Democrat, you're a Democrat," he said. "Some Democrats are progressive, and some Democrats are not."

When he was asked if Ossoff was a progressive, Sanders then responded: "I don't know."

Ossoff backed Hillary Clinton over Sanders in last year's presidential primary, but has sought support from the progressive wing of the party as well as the more mainstream center.

Republicans have painted him as a creation of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, an attack that Ossoff has criticized as a a tired smear from a predictable Republican playbook.