Obama and Sanders to hold private meeting Wednesday

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders Make Final Pitches Before Iowa Caucuses

President Barack Obama will meet with surging Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, just days before the Iowa caucuses.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced Tuesday that the meeting will take place in the Oval Office and was first discussed when the Vermont senator attended the Congressional Holiday Ball last month.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has had a number of private meetings with Obama, including one in December that Earnest described as "mostly a social occasion."

The Obama-Sanders sit down comes after the president made comments that seemed to suggest support for his former Cabinet member.

Ten facts you should know about Bernie Sanders:

10 things you don't know about Bernie Sanders
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Obama and Sanders to hold private meeting Wednesday

1. He's a socialist, and he doesn't deny it. When he ran for office in 1990 he responded to an ad trying to link him to Fidel Castro by saying,  "I am a socialist and everyone knows that."

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

2. He used to moonlight as a comedy actor, appearing in the 1999 film "My X-Girlfriends Wedding Reception."

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

4. He made headlines in in 2010 when he tried to block a deal that included a tax cut extension for the wealthy with a filibuster-like stand. The stunt trended on Twitter with the hashtag #filibernie and later crashed the Senate video server.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

5. He is not religious. While all past presidents have been openly religious and Christian, Sanders says he identifies as Jewish but doesn't practice. 

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

7. He grew up in a working class family in Brooklyn, and his father was a Polish immigrant.

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

8. He released an album called 'We Shall Overcome' in which he reads speeches about peace and justice with a choir singing in the background. It's available on iTunes. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)

9. He is a big believer in Scandinavian political thinking and has said that the U.S. should adopt some of their principles, including the idea that health care should be a right, and higher education should be free.

 (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


"If Bernie won Iowa or won New Hampshire, then you guys are going to do your jobs and, you know, you're going to dig into his proposals and how much they cost and what does it mean, and, you know, how does his tax policy work and he's subjected, then, to a rigor that hasn't happened yet, but that Hillary is very well familiar with" Obama said in an interview with Politico.

"You're always looking at the bright, shiny object that people don't, haven't seen before. That's a disadvantage to her," Obama added.

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