In a lengthy interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says "it is absolutely imperative for the future of the country that we do not have a Republican in the White House." Transcript, via MSNBC:
SANDERS: Well, you -- you know, you're living in crazy world there. And that is why, uh, you know, the Republican Party, if they continue in this direction, will be, as I mentioned a moment ago, a fringe party.
Uh, look, they have nothing to say. All they can appeal is to a small number of people who feel very rabid, very rabid about a particular issue, whether it's abortion or maybe whether it's gay marriage. That is their constituency. They have nothing of substance.
You know, you mentioned a moment ago, Rachel, that the media is paying attention to Donald Trump.
No kidding. Once again, every stupid remark will be broadcast, you know, for the next five days.
But what is Donald Trump's position on raising the minimum wage?
Well, he doesn't think so.
What is Donald Trump's position on wages in America?
Well, he said in a Republican debate he thinks wages are too high.
What's Donald Trump's position on taxes?
Well, he wants to give billionaire families like himself hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks.
What is Donald Trump's position on climate change?
Oh, he thinks it's a hoax perpetrated, shock of all shock, by the Chinese. You know, on and on it goes.
But because media is what media is today, any stupid, absurd remark made by Donald Trump becomes the story of the week. Maybe, just maybe, we might want to have a serious discussion about the serious issues facing America. Donald Trump will not look quite so interesting in that context.
MADDOW: Are you suggesting, though, that the media shouldn't be focusing on his call to potentially jail women who have abortions? Because that's another stupid --
SANDERS: I am saying that every day he comes up with another stupid remark, absurd remark, of course it should be mentioned. But so should Trump's overall positions. How much talk do we hear about climate change, Rachel? And Trump? Any?
MADDOW: He said that he cares more about nuclear climate change, which is a term that he's invented.
SANDERS: Nuclear climate change?
MADDOW: That's just what he comes up with when he's asked on the subject.
SANDERS: All that I'm saying is that Trump is nobody's fool. He knows how to manipulate the media and you say an absurd thing and the media is all over it. And my concern is that today in America, you've got millions of people who are struggling economically. They want to know how we're going to expand the middle class. Overwhelmingly, people think we should raise the minimum wage. Vast majority of people think climate change is real and a threat to our planet. They want to do something about that. What do we do? Vast majority of the people think the wealthiest people in this country should start paying their fair share of taxes. But if we don't discuss those issues, it creates the climate for people like Donald Trump to do much better than he really has a right to do.