Republican Rep. David Brat argued last week that the perception Republicans and Democrats don’t get along in Washington, DC, is nonsense — and he used a story involving Bernie Sanders to illustrate his point.
Elected to the House in 2014 after a stunning primary win over then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Brat told Business Insider in an interview that the social dynamics of Congress were what stunned him most about Washington.
“I was anticipating ill-will, some tough stuff — It wasn’t [like that],” the Virginia Republican said while on a tour to promote his new book, “American Underdog.”
Brat added: “I get along with them all. They give you council, they crack jokes with you. Democrats same thing. I lift weights with all of them in the morning. Nothing, zero, we crack jokes at each other, we have fun. And, when it’s voting time, that’s a different matter.”
He accused the press of creating “fiction that it’s this right wing versus left wing fight up there.”
“It is so far from true,” the Tea Party favourite added.
Brat said the centres of both parties hold much more power than the harder factions of the right and left, and he told a story about meeting with Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at last year’s White House Christmas party to highlight the point.
“In front of everybody, I said ‘Bernie, I’m a first year, Dave from Virginia,'” he began. “I said, ‘I don’t see this right wing, left wing thing everybody talks about. I see this middle of both parties doling out $4 trillion to their buddies and their cronies. And the special whatever.’ And he said, ‘Hell yeah, Dave, that’s what the hell is going on up here.'”
Sanders’ campaign did not return a request for comment from Business Insider about Brat’s story.
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