US Election 2016: Bernie Sanders responds to a Donald Trump presidency
US Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during campaign rally with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek on November 3, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Photograph: (Getty)
Bernie Sanders, the Democratic candidate who lost the Primaries to Hillary Clinton, made an official statement in response to the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency.
The Daily Beast reporter Colin Jones carried Sanders' statement in a Tweet.
Bernie: "To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.” pic.twitter.com/WmTFV1TvRi— Colin Jones (@colinjones) November 9, 2016
The full text of the statement reads:
"Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment politics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids - all while the very rich become much richer.
"To the degree to which Mr Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working class families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he purses racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him."
Would Bernie have beaten Trump?
Sanders, according to polls, was poised to beat Trump in a head to head race. Why didn't the two face off, then?
A WikiLeaks dump from only this past weekend suggests the Democratic Party blackmailed Bernie Sanders during the Primaries.
In a May interview with CNBC he spoke about the potential isolating effects of extreme wealth after being asked what the impact of Clinton's wealth could be on her policy making decisions.
According to a released email whose authenticity the Democrats never denied, Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook, who had the quote brought to his attention by a staffer, said: "This isn't in keeping w the agreement. Since we clearly have some leverage, would be good to flag this for him. I could send a signal via Welch--or did you establish a direct line w him?"
Another WikiLeaks revelation was that the Democratic National Committee actively conspired against Bernie Sanders to favour Hillary Clinton.
The Democrats have much explaining to do.
But at a time when politicians and media may go from snubbing Donald Trump to cosying up to him when he's president, Sanders appears determined to stand up for his beliefs, and willing to denounce his adversaries when necessary.
At least there doesn't seem to be any leverage stopping him from speaking freely now.