Adorable grandpa, Bernie Sanders, defends voters who supported Donald Trump for President, telling a rally in Boston: “Some people think the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there.”
The U.S. Senator from Vermont spoke at an event on Friday evening staged by Our Revolution, a group set up after his insurgent, strongly impactful challenge to the establishment’s pick, Hillary Clinton, in the Democratic primary. Our Revolution aims, in Bernie’s words in Boston, to create “a Democratic Party that is not a party of the liberal elite but of the working class of this country”.
Bernie Sanders’ remarks about Trump voters contained a direct shot at Clinton, who shared her true feelings about America’s white working class at a New York City fundraiser last September by stating “to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters in a basket of deplorables.
“The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that.”
Clinton’s words became a central feature of the election, the “deplorables” label seized on by the Trump campaign and adopted as a badge of pride among the businessman’s supporters.
In 2020, Democrats will attempt to win working-class voters in states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where Trump wins helped secure the presidency in the electoral college despite Clinton winning nearly 3m more ballots nationwide.
Bernie Sanders, 75, appeared in Boston with Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. Warren is seen by progressives as a possible Democratic Presidential candidate.
“Let me tell you something else some of you might not agree with,” Bernie said. “It wasn’t that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic party lost the election.”
With another jab at Clinton, he added: “We need a Democratic party that is not a party of the liberal elite but of the working class of this country, we need a party that is a grassroots party, where candidates are talking to working people not spending their time raising money for the wealthy and the powerful.
“And when we do that, when we transform the Democratic party, we transform America.”
The Guardian reports:
Tensions between establishment and grassroots elements in the Democratic party – fueled by a primary fight that turned increasingly bitter – have persisted since the election.
On Friday, Warren told the Our Revoultion event about her first meeting with Sanders.
“So some of you know, I was a teacher, researcher, and was doing work about what was happening to America’s middle class,” she said. “This was several years back.
“I got an invitation to come to dinner in Washington DC and I was told it would be with a lot of policy people so I did exactly what you expected me to do – I showed up with a bunch of charts and started talking about what was happening to hard-working families all across this country.”
“One guy with bright white hair … got into it,” she said. “It was like nobody else was in the room. And that was sort of the start of it with Bernie Sanders.”
In his speech, Sanders said: “You can tell the quality of a person by the enemies she makes, and to her credit Elizabeth Warren has made some wonderful enemies.”
Sanders said such enemies included Wall Street and the pharmaceutical and fossil fuel industries. Trump is also no fan of Warren, whom he has repeatedly attacked on Twitter.