At the seventh Democratic presidential debate, hosted by CNN in Flint, Michigan Sunday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders took a page out of the Donald Trump playbook to attack Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on trade.
Sanders hits Secretary Clinton for her support of "stupid" trade agreements like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and blames the urban decay in deindustrialized cities like Detroit on her husband's trade policies. President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994.
"Many, many Republicans and far too many Democrats who supported these disastrous trade policies," Sanders said. "Not only job loss by the millions, but a race to the bottom so that new jobs in manufacturing in some cases pay 50% less than they did 20 years ago."
"How stupid is that trade policy?"
Bernie Sanders emulated the Donald Trump method, sending out an outrageous tweet to draw attention to the issue, and then taking the opportunity to explain who is "stupid."
The people of Detroit know the real cost of Hillary Clinton's free trade policies. pic.twitter.com/OoatUvhEc9— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 3, 2016
ANDERSON COOPER: You sent a tweet on Thursday, and this is the tweet (above). I am showing the viewers. "The people of Detroit know the costs of Hillary Clinton's free trade policies," and it shows pictures of crumbling buildings. It seems like you are blaming her for the situation in Detroit.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I'm blaming the trade policies. THis is an amazing thing which I didn't know until recently: I wonder how people didn't know this.
COOPER: You call it Hillary Clinton's.
SANDERS: And everyone else who supported them. She was not alone. Many, many Republicans and far too many Democrats who supported these disastrous trade policies...
Do you know that in 1960, Detroit, Michigan was one of the wealthiest cities in America?
Flint, Michigan was a prosperous city. Corporate America said why do I want to pay someone in Michigan a living wage when I can pay slave wages in Mexico or China.
We are going to shut down and move abroad and bring the products back. Those trade policies as much as any other set of policies has resulted in the shrinking of the American middle class. And I will tell you what else it did. Not only job loss by the millions, but a race to the bottom so that new jobs in manufacturing in some cases pay 50% less than they did 20 years ago.
How stupid is that trade policy?