Sen. Bernie Sanders admitted this week that his campaign is itching to go head-to-head with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Given Trump’s open bigotry and economic views, Sanders appears confident challenging the former host of “The Apprentice” in single combat.
“I would say, examine Trump’s record carefully,” Sanders told CNN’s Anderson Cooper at a town hall event on Wednesday. “And it is not only his bigoted remarks against Latinos, suggesting that Mexicans coming into this country are rapists, or criminals, or drug dealers, or his absurd remark that we should not allow Muslims into this country – even above and beyond those outrageous bigoted statements, take a look at what he stands for economically.”
Harkening back to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, Trump declared his intention to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. while deporting roughly 11 million illegal immigrants without consideration for amnesty. Trump also wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, but he intends to hire Mexicans to build the wall.
“This country has millions of people struggling economically,” Sanders continued. “I believe we should raise the minimum wage to $15 over the next couple of years. Trump says, no, $7.25, we should not raise the minimum wage. Most workers don’t agree with that. Trump in a Republican debate said wages are too high in America. Really? Too high in America?”
Out of touch with ordinary Americans, Trump believes corporations should not have to sacrifice their profits by paying decent living wages and medical benefits to its employees. As inflation continues to rise, many people can no longer afford to live on a minimum wage salary especially when businesses have shifted to hiring part-time employees to avoid paying benefits and overtime.
“And here’s the other one that kind of blows me away,” Sanders jokingly went on. “Trump is, as you know, a well-known scientist, brilliant scientist. And he has concluded, after years of studying the issue, that climate change is a hoax brought to us by the Chinese. Now that shocked me, Anderson, because I thought that he would have thought it was a hoax brought to us by the Mexicans or the Muslims. Chinese I didn’t quite get. But the point is, if you examine his agenda, it is not an agenda for working Americans. He wants to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top two-tenths of one percent. So I think – and I would love the opportunity, frankly I’m prejudiced, I want Trump to win the Republican nomination – and I would love the opportunity to run against him. I think we would win by a lot.”
During the town hall meeting, Anderson Cooper asked Hillary Clinton, “One of the things that Sen. Sanders points to, and a lot of your critics point to, is you’ve made three speeches for Goldman Sachs. You were paid $675,000 for three speeches. Was that a mistake? Was that a bad error in judgment?”
Clinton shrugged before replying, “Look, I’ve made speeches to lots of groups. I told them what I thought. I answered questions.”
“But did you have to be paid $675,000?” Cooper asked again.
“Well, I don’t know,” Clinton responded. “That’s what they offered.”
Although both Sanders and Clinton are well aware that campaign contributions and consultant jobs do not come without a price, only Sanders has the guts to publicly address the financial stranglehold that large corporations currently have over politicians. Even former President Jimmy Carter recently equated modern politics to legalized bribery.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, Carter asserted, “The erroneous ruling of the Supreme Court, where millionaires, billionaires, can put in unlimited amounts of money, give legal bribery the chance to prevail, because all the candidates, whether they are honest or not, or whether they are Democratic or Republican, depend on these massive infusions of money from very rich people in order to have money to campaign.”