Election 2020

After West Virginia Win, Bernie Turns Focus to Trump

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to his supporters during a campaign rally on May 10, 2016, in Salem, Ore. (Danielle Peterson/Statesman-Journal via AP)

After winning West Virginia on Tuesday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) not only declared he’s going all the way to the convention but — like Hillary Clinton has since the presumptive GOP nominee has become known — turned his focus toward Donald Trump.

Sanders handily defeated Clinton with 51.4 percent of the vote to 35.8 percent for the former secretary of State. Without any formal challengers left, Trump took 77 percent of the vote in the coal state.

Republican primary voters also gave Trump 61.4 percent of the vote in Nebraska.

Sanders was ready for the victory with a large rally in Oregon to celebrate his win.

“This is a state, West Virginia, where Hillary Clinton won by over 40 points against Barack Obama in 2008,” he told supporters.

“…With our victory tonight in West Virginia, we have now won primaries and caucuses in 19 states. And let me be as clear as I can be. We are in this campaign to win the Democratic nomination! And we are going to fight for every last vote in Oregon, Kentucky, California, the Dakotas.”

Bernie said he’s “good at arithmetic” and acknowledges “we have an uphill climb ahead of us.”

“We have been fighting uphill from the first day of this campaign when people considered us a fringe candidacy,” he added.

While Sanders has been giving Clinton a run for her money in pledged delegates, she trounces the senator in superdelegates — party elite such as Democratic officials and lawmakers. He is counting on flipping the support of some superdelegates if the popular vote shows the party rank-and-file are in his corner.

“And our message to the Democratic delegates who will be assembling in Philadelphia is, while we may have many disagreements with Secretary Clinton, there is one area we agree and that is we must defeat Donald Trump,” he said. “And I am very happy to tell you we will defeat Donald Trump. And if you look over the last month or six weeks at every national poll, Bernie Sanders defeats Donald Trump by big numbers. But it is not only national polls where we defeat Trump by bigger numbers than Secretary Clinton, it is state poll after state poll after state poll.”

“Just in the last day — just in the last day — two national polls have us beating Trump by bigger margins than Secretary Clinton. Four statewide polls, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire, in every one of those polls, we beat Trump or do better against Trump than does Secretary Clinton.

The reason the campaign is performing better against Trump, Sanders added, “is that our campaign is generating the energy and the enthusiasm that we need to have a large voter turnout in November.”

“I am very proud to tell you that taking on virtually the entire Democratic establishment, senators and governors and members of Congress and mayors, despite all of that opposition we have now received well-over 45 percent of the pledged delegates,” he said. “And if we do well in the coming weeks in Oregon, in California, in New Jersey, in Kentucky and the other states, we still have that road to victory in winning the majority of delegates.”

“Let me mention something else that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but that I am very, very proud of. In virtually every primary and caucus, we win the significant majority of people 45 years of age and younger. Now, the truth is that we are going to work on this, we’ve got to do better with older voters. And we are going to do better with older voters. But when we win in state after state a significant majority of younger voters, what that tells me and I think it tells the American people our vision of economic, social, racial and environmental justice is the future of America.”

Sanders said Trump won’t win because “the American people understand that we cannot have a president who has insulted Latinos and Mexicans, who has insulted Muslims, who every day is insulting women in one way or another, who has insulted veterans like John McCain and others, who has insulted African-Americans in a very profound way.”

“The American people understand that bringing us together always trumps dividing us up,” he added. “…The American people understand that supporting each other always trumps selfishness.”

“Our campaign has now won primaries and caucuses in 19 states because we are doing something very unusual in American politics. We are treating the American people like intelligent human beings.”

Trump has previously urged Sanders to drop out and run as an independent because he hasn’t been treated fairly by the Democratic National Committee.

Now, he’s branded Sanders with a derogatory nickname in the vein of “Little Marco,” “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary.”

“I don’t want to hit Crazy Bernie Sanders too hard yet because I love watching what he is doing to Crooked Hillary. His time will come!” Trump tweeted today.

Sanders’ supporters quickly appropriated “Crazy Bernie” on Twitter, listing why it’s good to be crazy Bernie-style.

And Bernie’s campaign responded with poll snapshots.