Sanders says his campaign will focus on struggling middle class

1 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bernie Sanders: Unlike some candidates, I won’t start a super PAC or court millionaires.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl that he considers the role the obscenely wealthy play in politics to be “a very serious problem.” The independent specified that “it’s not just about Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton [but] about a political system today that is dominated by big money — it’s about the Koch brothers being prepared to spend $900 million in the coming election.” He claimed that one of the benefits of his candidacy is that he is “one of the exceptions” — the only national candidate who isn’t part of that corrupt system. “We’re going to be heavily outspent, but I think the American people have had enough of establishment politics,” he said. “I think they want real change [and] I think they want to see a movement which stands up to the billionaire class.” “I am not going to start a super PAC.

“I think it’s very healthy for a party to have an exchange of ideas and to have a bench — especially when we’re talking about leadership that comes after, and so I don’t think that anybody who is running for president should fear having someone else run for president,” she told reporters Thursday. Pelosi went further, saying, she thinks it is important for others to run, “so that they can engage in the marketplace of ideas, which is what an election is all about, and I have every confidence that every person that you have named and others who have named themselves or yet to come will enliven the debate and that will be wholesome.

There is little question that no matter what Clinton says or does as a candidate, there will always be a segment of the Democratic base who does not a) trust her or b) believe that she means what she says on things like income inequality. He will function as Clinton’s liberal conscience in this race — always pushing and prodding her to go further, to say more that will please the left. (Sidenote: While there is some unrest among liberals regarding Clinton’s commitment to their issues, it’s not widespread.

As he has for months in prospective campaign stops in the early voting states, and throughout his political career, the former mayor of Burlington, Vermont, assailed an economic system that he said has devolved over the past 40 years and eradicated the nation’s middle class. “What we have seen is that while the average person is working longer hours for lower wages, we have seen a huge increase in income and wealth inequality, which is now reaching obscene levels,” Sanders said. “This is a rigged economy, which works for the rich and the powerful, and is not working for ordinary Americans. … It is not only immoral, it is not only wrong, it can’t continue.” Sanders, a progressive, is the first major candidate to enter the Democratic primary race against former secretary of State Hillary Clinton and is expected to run well to her left.

A March Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that 77 percent of liberals had a favorable view of Clinton including 50 percent who were “strongly” favorable.) 2. You know, this country just does not belong to a handful of billionaires.” The son of an immigrant from Poland who sold paint for a living in Brooklyn, Sanders, 73, has for decades championed working-class Americans. An independent, he caucuses with Senate Democrats and is likely to attract some interest from voters who have unsuccessfully sought to draft Massachusetts Sen. FEC that said the First Amendment bars the government from restricting independent expenditures by corporations and other groups. “We now have a situation where billionaires are able to buy elections — let’s not kid ourselves,” Sanders said, citing millions spent on elections by the conservative Koch brothers and other billionaires. “To say that people disagree on issues and point that out, that’s what debate is about,” he said. “But vicious personal attacks against other candidates — I’ve never done that in my life.

But he rejected the idea that his appeal is limited to voters on the left, boldly predicting that his message would appeal to independents and Republicans. Let us not get hung up on soap opera issues.” The former Burlington, Vt., mayor who grew up in a working-class family in Brooklyn said he wants to focus on the problems of middle-class Americans who are working longer to earn less and can’t afford to send their kids to college. Sanders said he would release “very specific proposals” to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, as well as offer tuition-free education at all public colleges and universities. He touched on his past opposition to free-trade agreements, his support for heavier regulations of Wall Street and the nation’s banking industry, and his vote against the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a preview of his campaign. “So to me, the question is whose views come closer to representing the vast majority of working people in this country,” he said. “And you know what? And so, at some point in mid-November, is it possible that Clinton looks slightly less impressive than Democrats had hoped — or the media gets bored writing the Clinton juggernaut story — and there’s a turning to Sanders?

Add it all up and you see why the Clinton folks could actually have a conversation sometime late this fall that starts: “How do you want to handle this Bernie Sanders problem?” Now, Sanders going from ignored to irritant is a different thing than Sanders going from ignored to elected.

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