6 key moments from Bernie Sanders’ interview with CNN

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders says he believes his candidacy and past policy decisions put him in a better position than former Vice President Joe Biden to defeat Trump in a general election this fall.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden are locked in a race for the Democratic presidential nomination as they head into another week of critical contests.

In a wide-ranging interview Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” Sanders weighed in on a number of issues just two days before voters in half a dozen states, including the battleground state of Michigan, head to the polls to choose a candidate.

Here are six key moments from Sanders’ interview on CNN.

What if Biden is the nominee?

Asked by Tapper about Biden’s chances against President Donald Trump in industrial states if he’s the Democratic nominee, Sanders said he believes the former vice president can beat Trump.

“And if Joe is the candidate, I’ll do everything I can to make sure that he does (win),” Sanders said.

Sanders has said as much before, and Biden has also pledged to support the senator should he win the Democratic nomination.

Sanders would ‘love’ Warren’s support

Sanders told Tapper that he would “love” to have the backing of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a progressive Democrat whose policy positions were in some ways similar to Sanders.’ Warren, who dropped her own bid for the nomination last week, has not yet endorsed a candidate.

“Well, I’m not going to speculate. We would love to have Sen. Warren’s support and we would love to have the millions of people who supported Sen. Warren in her campaign on board,” Sanders said.

Biden is also hopeful that Warren will endorse him as the Democratic candidate, as it would further his goal of coalescing the party around him.

The importance of Michigan

Sanders, who is campaigning in Michigan on Sunday — which he won during his 2016 bid — called the battleground state “enormously important.”

“We’re working as hard as we can because Michigan is very, very significant in terms of the primary process. We hope to repeat the victory we had in 2016,” he said, adding later that he thinks his proposed agenda will help him claim another victory in the state.

Michigan has been the focus of Democrats this election cycle. The once-reliably blue state went to Trump in 2016, but has since shown signs that Democrats could win it back as part of their effort to rebuild the “blue wall” that had crumbled four years ago.

Sexism in the 2020 race

Following Warren’s departure from the field, as well as Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s exit last week, questions have swirled about how sexism in the country has impacted a contest that once saw six women vying for the nomination.

For Sanders, he’s certain that sexism is a challenge for women candidates.

“The short answer is yes, I do (think sexism is a hurdle for Democratic women running for president),” Sanders told Tapper after being asked about the issue. “I think women have obstacles placed in front of them that men do not have.”

The senator said progress has been made in terms of gender representation in Congress, but that the country still has work to do on this front.

“We have got to get rid of all of the vestiges of sexism that exist in this country, which is still pretty rampant,” Sanders said.

Avoiding travel due to coronavirus

Tapper asked Sanders during Sunday’s interview about the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recently issued guidance encouraging older people and people with severe chronic medical conditions to “stay at home as much as possible.”

“You, President Trump, Vice President Biden, you’re all older Americans,” Tapper said to Sanders, 78. “Do you think that all three of you should be limiting your travel and avoiding crowds?”

“Well, in the best of all possible worlds, maybe. But right now we’re running as hard as we can,” Sanders replied.

Sanders is attending two rallies in Michigan Sunday ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

‘Disgusting’ act

Sanders said during the interview that a Nazi flag unfurled by a man at a rally of his last week was an “unspeakable” and “disgusting” act.

On Thursday, a man was kicked out of the rally after he showed a flag with a swastika on it. Members of the audience ripped the flag from the individual’s hand, and the individual was quickly removed by security.

“It is something — I got to tell you, I never expected in my life, as an American, to see a swastika at a major political rally. It’s horrible,” Sander said Sunday.

If elected, Sanders would be America’s first Jewish president. His extended family from Poland was killed in the Holocaust during World War II.

Comments

comments