Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night offered a blistering rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, focusing more on what the president didn’t mention as opposed to what he did touch on.
Sanders zeroed-in heavily on Trump’s claims about the economy in his response. The Vermont senator noted that Trump was correct in contending the economy is doing well, but he argued it’s only benefiting a small number of wealthy people.
“We have more wealth and income inequality than any major country on earth,” Sanders said, adding that the economy is “not booming” for the roughly 80% of Americans living “paycheck to paycheck.”
Sanders said Americans should not be proud of the economy when the US has “the highest rate of childhood poverty in the developed world.”
He said too many in the US are working for “starvation wages,” and slammed Trump for not discussing raising the minimum wage to a living wage.
“People are not truly free when they can’t afford to go to the doctor when they are sick. People are not truly free when they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they desperately need. People are not truly free when they are unable to retire with dignity,” Sanders said.
Sanders went on to slam Trump for not mentioning voter suppression, Russian election interference, and US involvement in Yemen, among other topics.
The Vermont senator said Trump’s call for a border wall led to a shutdown that caused much pain and suffering, and rejected the president’s assertion there’s a crisis at the southern border. He called on the US to focus on working toward offering a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the country, whom he said were overwhelmingly hardworking and law-abiding.
“He is trying to divide us up,” Sanders said of Trump. “He is trying to have one group turn against another group, and that is certainly not what this country is supposed to be about.”