Speaking to a room packed with progressives running for state and local office, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., advised the first-time candidates to ignore the political establishment and trust their guts.
Crediting the movement catalyzed by his 2016 Democratic presidential campaign, Sanders said the policies of Medicare for all, free college tuition, a $15 dollar minimum wage, criminal justice reform, and legalizing marijuana are now “mainstream” among Democrats.
“What was once considered radical is now mainstream,” Sanders said Thursday to cheers at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington.
Sanders bashed the political establishment and the press repeatedly throughout his speech. The media, Sanders said, plays a “destructive” game by telling the “American people that politics is too complicated, you can’t get involved, you don’t know how to run for office.”
The former presidential contender encouraged the candidates, who are in Washington for four days of training, to embrace a progressive agenda even if they’re running in red or purple states.
“Let me give you a warning here: Watch out for consultants,” he said to laughs. “Often their advice is conservative and wrong. Trust your own guts, trust your own instincts.”
The training, put on by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Sanders’ Our Revolution, includes four days of helping candidates craft their public persona, how to pitch reporters, building field operations, do-it-yourself opposition research, and budgeting.
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