Sanders: Not Enough To Defeat Trump, Must "Address The Reasons Why Trump Got Elected In The First Place"


Cenk Uygur of "The Young Turks" interviews Sen. Bernie Sanders about his campaign for president and why he thinks he is the best among the Democratic candidates to defeat Donald Trump:

CENK UYGUR, THE YOUNG TURKS: So Joe Biden's claim, aided and abetted by the mainstream media that states it as a fact, is that he would do better [than you] against Trump and that that is one of the top things Democratic voters are considering. I assume you think that is wrong because you're running against him. Why do you think that is wrong?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: The simple truth is I would not be running if I didn't think that I was the strongest candidate to defeat the worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country, Donald Trump. Why is that? For two reasons, number one: We're going to need a lot of excitement, we're going to need a lot of voter turnout, we're going to have to bring young people, black, white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American into the political process. I think that we are the strongest campaign to do that. To get that excitement, to get that energy, to increase voter registration among young people.

Second, when you go to states in the Midwest, and I should tell you virtually all of the polls have me running against Trump state by state and in battleground states as well. Why is that? And why do I think we can do a good job in defeating Trump? Because in the issues that Trump beat Hillary Clinton on -- trade, you go to the Midwest and say, "I voted for NAFTA, I voted for permanent normalized trade relations with China." Which is what Joe Biden did, you think that's going to resonate terribly well in the Midwest? I don't think it will. I lead the opposition against those disastrous trade agreements.

You think going around the country and telling people, "I voted for the war in Iraq," which is what joe did. Think that's going to resonate well with people? I don't think so. It was probably the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of this country. I led the opposition to the war in Iraq. For those reasons, nationally and especially in the battleground states, we are the campaign that could rally young people, working people, people of color, to win this election.

CENK UYGUR: If the Democratic Party selects Joe Biden as its nominee, would it be making the same mistake that it did in picking Hillary Clinton, who lost to Donald Trump.

BERNIE SANDERS: I fear that it could be, I really do. I fear that you would have a campaign without a lot of energy and excitement. Could Joe beat Trump? Yeah, I think he could. I'm not saying he can't. But I think we don't want to make the same mistake that we made last time. And sometimes this is where the establishment talks to itself. I think that what the American people want right now is not only defeating Donald Trump, they want a candidate to speak to the pain that millions of people are feeling right now, and to get those people involved in the political process to stand up and fight back so we can improve the lives of all people in this country.

CENK UYGUR: Naomi Klein said on "The Young Turks" that if we just get rid of Donald Trump we'll be back to a situation that is so bad it created Trump.

BERNIE SANDERS: She's exactly right, that's exactly the point. And that is, look, we all want to beat the worst president in American history. No ifs, buts, or maybes on that. If I lose this thing I will be there doing everything I can to defeat Trump. But you want to address the reasons why Trump got elected in the first place.

What was that? It is because for too long the Democratic establishment has ignored the needs of working people all over this country. People work longer hours for lower wages. 40 million people living in poverty. The only major country not to guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. A vigorous effort to combat climate change, dealing with criminal justice reform, immigration reform. Those are issues that are not only the major issues facing this country, income and wealth inequality -- how do you not talk about that? We have got to talk about that because it is the right thing to do and it is the way you win an election.

CENK UYGUR: You mentioned there that if you don't win the primary, you'll support whoever the Democratic candidate is. You get asked that question all the time. What I've noticed is the other candidates don't get asked that question of whether they'll support you.

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