Landrieu on Sanders’s warning to Biden over college protests: ‘Comparing it to Vietnam is an overexaggeration’

Mitch Landrieu, the national co-chair of President Biden’s reelection campaign, said Sunday that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) comparison of ongoing college protests to those staged during the Vietnam War was an “overexaggeration.”

Landrieu was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” to respond to recent comments made by Sanders about the ongoing pro-Palestinian protests that have broken out on college campuses across the country. Sanders told CNN last week that “this may be Biden’s Vietnam” when asked how the protests could affect Biden and his reelection campaign.

“Well, first of all, I think comparing it to Vietnam is an overexaggeration. This is a very different circumstance. I think that people who actually lived through that very difficult time, they would say that this isn’t comparable. However, that is not to say that this is not a very serious matter,” Landrieu said Sunday.

Landrieu noted that Sanders recently said young people have plenty of reasons to vote for Biden, noting that younger voters are interested in climate, student debt relief and “their freedoms being taken away.” He also reiterated that Biden has continued to call for humanitarian aid amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

“There are not a lot of great options on the table for anybody as a result of the terrorist attack that Hamas invoked on Oct. 7 and what has happened since then. The president, as you know, has been very strong in his call for [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] to make sure that this humanitarian aid, make sure that the hostage crisis gets resolved sooner, rather than later, and that we get to a cease-fire as soon as practically possible,” Landrieu said.

Sanders also told CNN last week he was worried Biden was putting himself in a similar position to former President Lyndon B. Johnson.

“Lyndon Johnson in many respects was a very, very good president. Domestically he brought forth some major pieces of legislation. He chose not to run in ’68 because of opposition to his views on Vietnam, and I worry very much that President Biden is putting himself in a position where he has alienated, not just young people, but a lot of the Democratic base, in terms of his views on Israel and this war,” Sanders said.

On Thursday, Biden addressed the ongoing college protests at the White House, saying that violent protests are “not protected” while defending the right to demonstrate peacefully. He also condemned antisemitism and Islamophobia, saying there “is no place for hate speech or violence of any kind.”

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