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Huffington Post
16 Dec 2023

NextImg:Sen. John Fetterman Says He’s ‘Not A Progressive’ Despite Many Previous Claims

Don’t call him a progressive ― even if that’s what he’s often called himself.

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) responded to criticism about his unwavering support for Israel amid the country’s war with Hamas and its bombing of Gaza by saying he’s not the progressive he previously claimed to be.

“I’m not a progressive,” Fetterman told NBC News on Friday. “I just think I’m a Democrat that is very committed to choice and other things. But with Israel, I’m going to be on the right side of that. And immigration is something near and dear to me, and I think we do have to effectively address it as well.”

The junior senator has also faced criticism among his supporters for his willingness to join Republicans in supporting a bigger crackdown on immigration.

Fetterman’s comments about not being a progressive don’t match with his many previous claims saying otherwise.

“We have started a progressive movement here in Pennsylvania,” Fetterman tweeted in 2016. It was one of more than a dozen tweets over the years in which Fetterman referred to himself as a “progressive.”

“Progressive values have been the heart of my campaign,” he tweeted in 2018.

“Progressive rhetoric is great but progressive results are 100,” he tweeted that same year.

In a 2020 response to Jeb Bush, Fetterman tweeted in part: “My dude, I’m a progressive democrat.”

Fetterman has also called himself a progressive in previous interviews. In 2017, when Fetterman was running for lieutenant governor, he told WHYY that he would be a “solid progressive backstop” for the state.

“If I’m lucky enough to be elected, I’m able to be a solid progressive backstop for Pennsylvania, for Governor Wolf,” he said. “It provides a statewide platform to advocate for the progressive issues I care about ― a living wage, marijuana legalization, immigration, and community policing.”

In his interview with NBC News, Fetterman said he was willing to work with Republicans on tougher immigration policies if it meant giving more aid to Israel. Following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack that left more than 1,000 Israelis dead, Israel has responded by killing more than 17,000 Palestinians. Two-thirds of those killed in Gaza have been women and children.

“Progressives better do that because we can’t leave Israel — we can’t sell them out, and we can’t sell Ukraine out, and we have to deliver on this,” Fetterman said. “I just would very much like to get a deal to deliver this critical aid.”

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