Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, says GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has converted the “legitimate fears” of American citizens into anger against Muslims and Mexicans. Sanders believes his message of addressing economic inequalities and healthcare coverage gaps appeals to middle class Trump supporters across the country.
BERNIE SANDERS: Look, many of Trump’s supporters are working-class people and they’re angry, and they’re angry because they’re working longer hours for lower wages, they’re angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low-wage countries, they’re angry because they can’t afford to send their kids to college so they can’t retire with dignity.
I think what Trump has done successfully I would say is take that anger, take that anxiety about terrorism and say to a lot of people in this country. Look, the reason for our problems is Mexicans, and he says, they’re all criminals and rapists. We’ve got to hate Mexicans. Or he says about the Muslims, they’re all terrorists. We’ve got to keep them out of the country. That’s what we have to deal with to make America great.
Meanwhile, interestingly enough, John, this is a guy who does not want to raise the minimum wage. In fact, he has said that he thinks wages in America are too high. But he does want to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to top three-tenths of one percent.
So, I think for his working class and middle class supporters, I think we can make the case that if we really want to address the issues that people are concerned about why the middle class is disappearing, massive income and wealth inequality in this country that we need policies that bring us together that take on the greed of Wall Street, the greed of corporate America, and create a middle class that works for all of us rather than an economy that works just for a few.