Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked “what good does it do now” to wonder if he would have triumphed over Donald Trump where Hillary Clinton fell short.
“I don’t think it makes a whole lot of sense to do Monday-morning quarterbacking right now. The election is over. Donald Trump won,” Sanders told CNN today. “…I would have loved to have had the opportunity to run against him, but that did not end up being the case.”
The populist on the left said of the populist on the right that he intends “to work with President Trump on those issues where he will, in fact, work for the middle class and working families of this country,” but “I will vigorously oppose him if he appeals to racism or sexism or some of the other discriminatory measures that he brought up during his campaign.”
Sanders did 21 rallies in a dozen states for Clinton during the last week of the campaign.
“So the election is over, and we’ve got to look to the future. And what we have got to demand, I think, is that Mr. Trump keep the promises that he made to working families,” he said. “…I hope he will raise the minimum wage so that people who are working for 9 or 10 bucks an hour get the kind of raise they’re entitled to. I hope he will do pay equity for women. Women should not be getting 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. I hope he’ll rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and I look forward to working with him if he chooses to do that and create millions of decent-paying jobs. And on trade, absolutely we need a new trade policy.”
The senator added that since Trump “knows how corrupt the tax system is” through using loopholes on his own, “I hope very much that he’ll work with progressives to create a tax system which in fact asks billionaires and multi-national corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes.”
Asked if he’d spoken with Clinton since Tuesday, Bernie replied, “I have not. I owe her a call, and I will make that call, but I have not.”
Sanders stressed “there is a lot of work to be done — but let’s not take out our frustration against the poor or minorities.”
“Rich are getting richer. Everybody else is getting poorer. That is the reality. But what it would be unacceptable for a president to do is take that anger, that frustration, that hurt, and turn it against the poor, turn it against people of color, turn it against Muslims. That is demagoguery of the worst kind,” he said. “And if Trump attempts to do that, I will do everything that I can, along with millions of other people in this country, to say, sorry, that is not what the United States of America is about.”
Does Sanders, 75, want another run at the White House?
“The last thing in the world, after this never-ending campaign where we have not even sworn in the new president, is to talk about 2020. So let’s not go there at all,” he said. “There will be a whole lot of disappointment in this country if the media starts talking about 2020. We are — you know, the people are tired of never-ending campaigns. Let us focus on the reality of today. Let’s focus on the issues impacting the American people. And let’s not worry about who is going to be running in 2080 or something like that.”
Sanders said President Obama will “do what he feels best” regarding any potential pardon for Clinton, but said that if Trump tried to put her in prison it would be an “outrage beyond belief.”
“The idea in a democracy in the United States of America that a winning candidate would try to imprison the losing candidate, that’s what dictatorships are about. That’s what authoritarian countries are about,” the senator said. “You do not imprison somebody you ran against because you have differences of opinion.”