In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, Sen. Bernie Sanders sounded the alarm on climate change, stating that "beating Trump is not good enough." "You have to take on all of those forces of the status quo, who do not want to move this country to energy efficiency and sustainable energies," Sanders said.
"We're going to try to beat the -- Trump. But you know what else we're going to try to do? We're going to try to transform the United States of America," he said. "Deal with this massive level of income and wealth inequality, deal with Wall Street, deal with the greed of the drug companies and the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry. So our campaign has a different goal. It's to transform this country. And we're taking on the entire establishment."
CHUCK TODD: Well, let me start with something the vice president, former vice president, said yesterday. And it was a fascinating way -- he was talking about his climate change proposal. And he said, 'If you want to know what the first and most important plank in my climate proposal is it was," quote, "beat Trump." You have said, if all the Democrats do is focus on Trump, you lose. Essentially, Biden is saying, no, no, no, no, no. It is all about Trump. Your reaction.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, I think Democrats have got to do a couple of things. Number one, it goes without saying that we have got to beat, defeat Donald Trump, who, in my view, is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. He's a pathological liar. He's a sexist and a racist, et cetera, et cetera.
But that is not enough. If we're talking, for example, about climate change, what the scientists tell us is that we have 12 years before irreparable damage is done to this planet. Beating Trump is not good enough. You've got to beat the fossil fuel industry. You have to take on all of those forces of the status quo, who do not want to move this country to energy efficiency and sustainable energies. Chuck, what the scientists tell us is that the future of the planet is at stake. And we have a moral responsibility to make sure that our kids live, and our grandchildren live, in a healthy and habitable planet. That means massive investments in wind, solar, and so forth and so on. So taking on Trump, of course, you've got to do that. But you need a real plan to transform our energy system.
CHUCK TODD: Well, I think another way of looking at it is you have to win, right? And you have to -- I think one of the cases you need to make to the Democrats is when -- you know, the former head of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, and I gather that Joe Biden has a lot of support in Pennsylvania. But here's what he said about you. He said this. "I'm supremely confident Bernie Sanders could not win Pennsylvania. When Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren open their mouths, many, many Democrats in Pennsylvania stick their fingers in their ears." Tell us how you win Pennsylvania.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Look, you know, let me just say this to Ed, who I've known for many years, and to the entire Democratic establishment. Let me tell this to Ed, that there are millions of people who are sick and tired of that Democratic establishment. What Ed should know is that a recent poll that came out had me, if I'm not mistaken, eight points ahead of Trump in Pennsylvania. We've had polls which have me way ahead of him in Michigan and Wisconsin and, in fact, all over this country. Now, the reason that we can beat, that my campaign can beat Donald Trump is we're going to create the kind of excitement that we need to bring out the large voter turnout. We're going to bring out young people, who not only are interested and are going to fight for real climate change, they want to raise that minimum wage to $15 an hour, a fight that I have been helping to lead. They want healthcare for all through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program. They understand that it is absurd that young people should be leaving college 50,000, 60,000, 100,000 dollars in debt. They want public colleges and universities tuition-free. They want criminal justice reform. They want immigration reform. And the truth is that our campaign, I think, can generate that excitement. Our generation can talk to some, some of the Trump supporters, who now know that they were lied to, when Trump said he was going to provide healthcare to everybody and then tried to throw 32 million people off their healthcare. I think we are the campaign that can beat Donald Trump.
CHUCK TODD: Senator, I would argue, you made a very similar case against Hillary Clinton four years ago. And you came up short. Why do you think, this time -- especially when it seems like you have an exhaustive -- I'm just saying, you have, you have a part of the Democratic Party -- that seems to be gravitating toward Biden. Go ahead.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: You know, we came up short. Yeah, we took on the entire Democratic establishment. We took on the Democratic National Committee. We took on every Democratic governor. We took on every Democratic mayor. And we ended up winning 22 states and 13 million votes and, in fact, bringing forth an agenda that transformed the Democratic Party. Four years ago, people were not talking about the issues they're talking about now. So I understand that our campaign is unique in the sense that we're going to try to win the Democratic primary. We're going to try to beat the -- Trump. But you know what else we're going to try to do? We're going to try to transform the United States of America, deal with this massive level of income and wealth inequality, deal with Wall Street, deal with the greed of the drug companies and the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry. So our campaign has a different goal. It's to transform this country. And we're taking on the entire establishment, when we do that, including Ed Rendell.