Sanders campaign national co-chair Nina Turner responded to Pete Buttigieg's statement that he represents the middle ground between the "status quo" and "revolution" Monday morning and Democratic strategist James Carville's warning that elections aren't about revolutions in an interview with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.
STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC: Mayor Pete might be going with the extreme, but is there a place for the wealthy? I don't necessarily mean the billionaires, that's only 600 people. But is there a place for the affluent in Bernie Sanders' campaign?
NINA TURNER, SANDERS CAMPAIGN: Yes. We have affluent people. It's funny to me that you have Mayor Buttigieg cheerleading for the wealthy he is people in the country, they don't need cheerleaders. The people that need the cheerleaders are the working poor and barely middle class in this country, and that's who Sen. Sanders is talking about.
He is calling out excessive greed and how it has crippled the lives, the passion, and the dreams of so many people in this country. There are affluent people that support Bernie Sanders. A national co-chair to shares that title with me is Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's. He's affluent and he is going to be the Minister of Ice Cream when we win.
The point is this: We need people, the most affluent people in this country, to understand people are hurting, they're in a position to call that out like Senator Sanders. We welcome all but understand excessive greed kills.
STEPHANIE RUHLE: Do you run the risk of alienating some of those people, I don't mean just the richest people, but the American dream is about studying hard, working hard, and getting to lead a really good life. Do you run the risk your message isn't welcoming to them even if they support what you want to do?
NINA TURNER: Not at all. Most of the American people when asked about health care, side with us, side with the senator. They understand that college, the cost of college is crippling people. People don't have disposable income. We tell people to go to college, but when they cross the stage, they cross the stage with a degree in one hand and debt in the other that stifles their ability to be able to live that good life. Some people still have student debt into their 50s. What the senator is saying is that it is time for the system to only care about the will and the dreams of the wealthiest people, we need to bend the body politic to the working poor and barely middle class.
STEPHANIE RUHLE: Does the senator need to detail how he is going to pay for that? When Elizabeth Warren laid out the plan for Medicare For All, it hurt her campaign.
NINA TURNER: We going to detail it the same way we detail we have enough money to pay for wars, detail in the same way the Congress gives, especially Democrats that voted for increasing the military budget of a president that they say is unfit to serve, hello, somebody. So we're going to pay for it that way. Same way we have enough money to bail out Wall Street, we need to put a down payment on Main Street. Yeah, we going to explain how we going to pay for it.
STEPHANIE RUHLE: The majority of democrats that helped flip the House in 2018 were moderates. James Carville made the argument that Senator Sanders isn't a Democrat, he is an ideologue. If he is the candidate, he is not going to help win the Senate. Unless you have the Senate, if you just got the White House, you ain't going to get nothing done.
NINA TURNER: Does practical mean that 89 or so million people who are uninsured or underinsured in this country continue to suffer? Does being practical mean we don't take steps to deal with climate chaos and bring world leaders to bear? Does being practical mean we prop up a legal system that's unfair, that bears its weight down on black men and black women, and by extension if you are Hispanic or indigenous or poor? Does being practical mean you don't say to the American people you deserve better than you're getting? That's not the practical we want.
Does it mean you have wine caves and Swarovski crystals with billionaires that want to control the system? Does practical continue with the status quo while 500,000 sleep on the streets at night? That's not practical. So with all due respect to Mr. Carville, what the American people need is somebody that's unabashed, and has the courage and conviction to stand up for them and call out the rigging of the system, and that candidate is Senator Bernie Sanders.
STEPHANIE RUHLE: But steps and a revolution are two different things. In order to get to a revolution, you have to take steps. What James Carville is saying is you have to get to a practical place to make those changes.
NINA TURNER: The elites in 1930 said the same about FDR, and he said, "I welcome your hatred." These are the same people who if the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was still alive, before he was gunned down, he said to this country that the evils of this country, militarism, materialism, poverty, and racism.
Those are the same people. If President FDR listened to those people or if Dr. King had listened to those people, we would not progress as a nation. Every generation has its naysayers. The folks in this coutnry need somebody that will stand up for them. Senator Sanders is known as the amendment king, he knows how to get things done. What people need is to be able to call on somebody that's not going to capitulate.
STEPHANIE RUHLE: Senator Sanders' supporters, what's the number one goal, is it to start the revolution or to defeat Donald Trump? I ask because there's often a lot of talk around will the supporters get behind another candidate if it is not Senator Sanders.
NINA TURNER: Stephanie, why can't we have both. The same argument was made in 2016.
STEPHANIE RUHLE: And a lot of those didn't vote for Clinton --
NINA TURNER: However, Stephanie, more of Senator Sanders' supporters supported Hillary Clinton than her supporters supported then-Sen. Barack Obama. Let's set the record straight. People want to defeat President Donald Trump, but they want to know they have a fighter in the White House that will take it all the way, that's gonna go ham on the system that oppressed them.
So I reject, so do the American people, the notion that you cannot say to a system it must change and also push a dream and vision that's bigger than what we have right now. Who wants somebody saying to working day people of the nation I'm going to run for office, but you're only getting more of the same. That doesn't work. We going to win this, Steph.