Former Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said Sunday that the Democratic party would fight to become a “50-state party,” adding that they can’t just be a “West Coast party and an East Coast party.”
“We’re going to be fighting to see that the Democratic Party becomes a 50-state party. You can’t just be a West Coast party and an East Coast party,” Sen. Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on ‘State of the Union‘ Sunday morning.
“We need a bottom-up party, a grassroots party which is prepared to stand up to the big money interests, which have so much influence over the political and economic development of our country'” Sanders continued.
The insurgent 2016 Democratic primary candidate and self-described socialist blasted President Donald Trump, asserting that Americans across the political spectrum are perceiving Trump in a negative light and as someone who is not fulfilling his campaign promises. “He was going to drain the swamp,” Sanders quipped. “Well, he’s, in fact, appointed more billionaires to his cabinet than any president in history.”
Sanders highlighted a red state tour, set to kickoff Monday, where he will join new Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez on a five state tour through states including Maine, Kentucky, Florida, Arizona and Nevada. Perez defeated Sander’s preferred candidate to lead the DNC, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison in late-February. (RELATED: DNC Elects Pro-TPP Establishment Democrat As Chairman)
Tapper asked Sanders about a special election in Kansas, where Democrats complained that the national party did not invest enough resources to defeat the Republican opponent, where polling suggested that the Democrats had a shot to upset the GOP in CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s vacant district in and around Wichita.
Republican State Treasurer Ron Estes defeated Democratic civil rights attorney and Sanders-backed candidate James Thompson by 7 points, which was a much closer race than in November, where Trump received 60 percent of the vote and Pompeo defeated his Democratic challenger by 31 points. Despite the loss, Sanders insisted that the closer margin was a sign that working people across the country are rejecting Donald Trump’s Republican party.
“Working people are going to wake up and say, wait a second. Republicans want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and education, and they want to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 1 percent,” Sanders said.
“I think, all over this country, in red states and in blue states, people are beginning to stand up. They’re beginning to fight back. They’re demanding a government which does not just represent the billionaires, but represents the working class of this country,” he continued.
Tapper also asked Sanders about foreign policy issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula and Syria. Sanders also said that the key to the North Korea issue is China, and said that while he opposed the American airstrikes against Syria, that “Assad has got to go,” and “ISIS has got to be defeated.”
“Countries around the world have got to work with us to address those crises,” Sanders concluded.
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