Bernie Sanders says Democrats’ top task is defeating Donald Trump – USA TODAY
Bernie Sanders outlined the future goals of his campaign, including defeating Donald Trump and transforming the Democratic Party, in an official message streamed on his website.
WASHINGTON â Sen. Bernie Sanders told his supporters Thursday nightÂ inÂ aÂ live, online video address that their next major political task is to help make sure presumptive GOP presidentialÂ nominee Donald Trump “is defeated and defeated badly” in November.
The Vermont senator, speaking from his hometown of Burlington, Vt., didn’t suspendÂ his presidentialÂ campaign or endorseÂ Hillary ClintonÂ during the 30-minute address, even though Clinton has secured enough delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination and the primary season has ended. But Sanders said he will begin making his own contributionÂ “in a very short time” to the effort to defeat Trump.
“We cannot have a president who insults Mexicans and Latinos, Muslims, women and African-Americans,” he said. “We cannot have a president who, in the midst of so much income and wealth inequality, wants to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the very rich. We cannot have a president who, despite all of the scientific evidence, believes that climate change is a hoax.”
But Sanders also said that defeating Trump can’t be the only goal and that the “political revolution” he has called for throughoutÂ his presidential campaignÂ “must continue into the future.” He said he looks forward to continued discussions between his campaign and Clinton’s in the coming weeks to make certain the Democratic Party passes the “most progressive platform in its history” at its convention in July in Philadelphia.
“It is no secret that Secretary Clinton and I have strong disagreements on some very important issues,” said Sanders, who met with Clinton on Tuesday,Â hours after the District of Columbia held the nation’sÂ final 2016 primary. “It is also true that our views are quite close on others.”
Sanders said he also looks forward to working with Clinton to “transform the Democratic Party” to make it a party for working people and young people that “has the guts” to take on Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the fossil fuel industry and other powerful special interests that dominate political and economic life.
Sanders listed a host of his priorities that he said the party must work to achieve, including a $15 federal minimum wage, breaking up the largest financial institutions, a ban on fracking,Â defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, expanding Social Security, and, in the wake of last weekend’sÂ mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., an assault weapons ban.
He said his call for a political revolution means that âat every level, we continue the fight to make our society a nation of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.â
Sanders also called for a 50-state strategy for the Democratic Party. He accused current party leaders of turning their backs on dozens of states and allowing right-wing politicians to win in some states with virtually no opposition. The party must recruit quality candidates In states Democrats have ignored,Â and provide them with resources, Sanders said.
âThe Democratic Party needs leadership which is prepared to open its doors and welcome into its ranks working people and young people,â he said. âThat is the energy that we need to transform the Democratic Party, take on the special interests and transform our country.â
He asked his supporters to visitÂ his website at berniesanders.com/win to learn about running for office.
âWe need a new generation of people actively involved in public service who are prepared to provide the quality of life the American people deserve,â he said.
Though Sanders hasnât conceded the Democratic nomination race, he hasnât spoken of winning it since Clinton defeated him in Californiaâs primary on June 7.
âWe are going to take our campaign to the convention with the full understanding that weâre very good in arithmetic and we know who has received the most votes up to now,â Sanders said Sunday evening after meeting with his advisers.
On Tuesday, Sanders called for a âfundamental transformationâ of the Democratic Party that would include new leadership at the Democratic National Committee, electoral reform and a progressive agenda focused on helping working people and the poor. He called for open primaries â in which independents could vote for Democratic candidates â and for doing away with superdelegates, the party leaders and elected officials who may vote for the candidate of their choice at the national convention.