Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man'

Conservative reporter Henry Rodgers defended Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Warren: Bloomberg making debate will show how other candidates handle 'an egomaniac billionaire' HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination MORE (I-Vt.) on Friday after a former Obama campaign official questioned the Vermont senator's electability in the Midwest. 

“He has been the same guy since I’ve known him,” said Rodgers, who is a reporter for the conservative outlet The Daily Caller. “We have fought but he sticks to his guns and I respect him because he’s not a ‘yes’ man and he doesn’t go around like the rest of politicians acting a certain way to attract a base."

Rodgers's comments come after recent comments made by former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.

During an interview with MSNBC on Thursday, Messina called Sanders “the worst candidate” to take on Trump in November’s general election.

Messina said Sanders's appeal to young voters may be the very thing that hurts him in the general election, especially when it comes to Midwestern voters.

“It’s very clear to me that these swing voters that I care about — the Trump-Obama voters in the Midwestern states — Bernie Sanders is not the candidate we need to beat Trump in November,” he said.

Messina later clarified his comments, telling Newsweek he didn’t think that Trump-Obama voters would respond to “a massive infusion of government” and tax increases.

"When you start having real conversations with these voters, you realize that the very last thing they think is the recipe here is a massive infusion of government and a huge increase in taxes," he told the publication. "These are people who voted for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE last time, because they wanted to kind of blow the system up, because they think it failed [them]."

Messina’s comments come as Sanders and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination Meghan McCain to Joy Behar: 'You guys have done a piss-poor job of convincing me that I should vote for a Democrat' MORE battle for the top spot in the Democratic primary race.

According to Emerson College's first national poll of the year, Sanders trails Biden by just three percentage points, registering 27 percent support compared to Biden’s 30 percent.

— Tess Bonn