Sen. Bernie Sanders thinks supporters of President Donald Trump are actually okay, except for the ones that are “racist, sexists, homophobes, [and] xenophobes.”
The Independent Vermont senator, who just won the Democratic primary Tuesday night, defended the president’s supporters and discussed why he thinks Trump won during an appearance on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” on Tuesday.
“Well, I think we have to do heck of a lot better in getting through to some of those people,” Sanders responded to a question about Americans who support Trump despite not benefiting from his policies.
“I am not going to deny for a second that some of those supporters are racist, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes, that’s true,” Sanders continued. “I don’t believe that is the majority.”
The former presidential candidate pointed to Trump’s success in reaching “hard-working decent” Americans as he campaigned, picking up on Democrats’ failures.
“I’ve been all over Trump country, and I think what Trump was able to do was pick up on the failures of the Democratic Party, that did not talk about the fact that hard-working decent people saw their jobs going to Mexico or China,” Sanders explained.
“People cannot afford to send their kids to college or afford child care or afford housing that they desperately need,” he added. “So I think the future of the Democratic Party has got to be the focus on the needs of working families to demand that we have a government that represents all of us.”
Sanders is expected to turn down Vermont’s Democratic Senate primary nomination after his win on Tuesday so he can support other Democratic candidates. Some, however, believe he is mulling a potential 2020 presidential run and is already on Vermont’s November ballot as an independent.
But Sanders would neither confirm nor deny the rumors when he was pressed on “The Late Show” by host Stephen Colbert who noted a betting site that tied him with California Sen. Kamala Harris to win the Democratic nomination in 2020.
“You want to lay a bet on who gets to face Donald Trump in 2020?” Colbert asked.
“Actually, that’s exactly what I don’t want to do. No,” Sanders replied.
“So right now, are you willing to put aside all speculation and announce to the people here that you are not running in 2020?” Colbert pressed.
“No,” Sanders reiterated. “What I have said time and time again, my focus right now is on 2018 and to do everything that I can to end one-party rule of the House and the Senate… But it’s too early to be talking about 2020.”
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