Happy Saturday Friends!
Bernie Sanders on Friday doubled down on criticism of fellow Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden over the support they’ve received from billionaire donors, arguing his 2020 rivals’ fundraising was “exactly the problem with American politics”.
Sanders noted that the South Bend mayor, Buttigieg, had accepted support from 40 billionaires throughout his campaign and was “closing in on Biden”, the former vice-president who has received donations from at least 44 billionaires. The Vermont senator told the Guardian: “They will tell you, ‘It doesn’t impact me. It really doesn’t mean anything to me.’ That is clearly nonsensical. Why would billionaires and wealthy people be making large contributions if it didn’t mean something to them?”
Sanders appeared cheerful and spoke confidently about the state of his presidential campaign as he sat down with the Guardian and the not-for-profit publication Capital & Main before a climate town hall in Moreno Valley, just outside of Los Angeles.
I’m glad that the interviewer brought up the UK election, might as well get that out of the way asap.
Sanders also brushed aside concerns from some Democratic pundits, who have drawn comparisons between him and Jeremy Corbyn, the British Labour leader who experienced a stunning defeat in that country’s recent elections. “Our opponents will throw every reason in the world against us,” Sanders said, arguing his rise is making the Democratic establishment “very, very nervous”.
He continued, “The United Kingdom, last I heard, is not the United States. Brexit is not a major part of what this campaign is about. The issues that I am campaigning on, in fact, are precisely the issues the American people support. Talk about raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. Four years ago when I introduced that concept, it was a radical idea. Not radical anymore.”
Sanders noted that there was also polling showing broad support for many of his more progressive proposals, including Medicare for All, student debt cancellation and wealth taxes.
And I’m kind of glad Bernie brought up the fact that, in addition to being old, he’s happens to be fair-skinned. Another issue tackled head on to hopefully defuse attacks from his opponents and the media.
Among the toughest questions Sanders faced during the debate were several on race and identity. When asked about concerns regarding too many older men in power, he interjected, “And I’m white as well!” adding, “The issue is not old or young, male or female, the issue is working people standing up taking on the billionaire class.”
I hope you all have a fabulous Winter Solstice Saturday!