“People often ask me, ‘What do you think about what the president said yesterday,’” Sanders, 75, said bluntly during a joint appearance with Carter. “It’s hard to answer because his view will be different tomorrow, and very often, factually what he says is just not correct.”
Sanders and Carter’s “conversation” came at the end of Day One of the Carter Center’s annual Human Rights Defenders Forum. The audience, which included activists, peacemakers, and community leaders from 31 countries, frequently broke into applause, particularly when Sanders launched into one of his signature pull-no-punches commentaries on the impact corporate money has on American politics. Even Carter seemed to get caught up in it. After Sanders suggested that higher voter turnout was the key to defeating the Republican Party, Carter quipped to the audience, “Can you all see why I voted for him?!”
The topic of their “conversation” was human rights, and Sanders, who ran for the Democratic nomination for president last year, didn’t hold back when it came to expressing his true feelings about the growing gap between rich and poor in this country, health care reform and other progressive topics.
Meanwhile, Carter had pulled no punches earlier in the day about why Sanders had been invited to address the two-day forum which is focused on strategies for protecting human rights in the wake of rising authoritarianism.
“I think during the last election in America, Bernie Sanders represented the best of all the candidates what this conference is about,” Carter told the AJC in an interview about an hour before their joint appearance at the end of a forum dinner. “When you lose your opportunity to have some reasonable chance of a decent income, you lose a lot of other things as well. One of the key things people feel is that they’ve lost a voice in their own government.”
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