(JTA) – President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders at the White House.
There will be “no formal agenda” for Wednesday morning’s Oval Office meeting, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement, adding that the meeting was first discussed in December.
Polls show Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont running in the Democratic primaries, and Hillary Rodham Clinton running neck and neck in the Iowa caucuses, which will be held Monday. Clinton served as Obama’s secretary of state during his first term in office after losing the Democratic primary to him in 2008.
Obama discussed the candidates in an interview with Politico’s OffMessage podcast released Monday.
“Bernie came in with the luxury of being a complete long shot and just letting loose,” Obama said. “I think Hillary came in with both the privilege — and burden — of being perceived as the front-runner. … You’re always looking at the bright, shiny object that people haven’t seen before — that’s a disadvantage to her.”
Clinton and Obama have met several times since she left her position in 2013.
Obama reportedly will not endorse a candidate during the primary.