Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. The U.S. Representative for the state's at-large congressional district from 1991 to 2007, he is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history and a member of the Democratic caucus. Sanders ran unsuccessfully for the 2016 and 2020 Democratic nomination for president.
- The revolution comes when two strangers smile at each other, when a father refuses to send his child to school because schools destroy children, when a commune is started and people begin to trust each other, when a young man refuses to go to war and when a girl pushes aside all that her mother has 'taught' her and accepts her boyfriends (sic) love.
- "The Revolution Is Life Versus Death", in Vermont Freeman (1969), as quoted in "The origins of Sanders' ideology, in his own words" by Brianna Keilar, CNN (29 February 2016)
- There are no "human" oppressors. Oppressors have lost their humanity. On one hand "slavishness," on the other hand "pigness." Six of one, half dozen of the other. Who wins?
Many women seem to be walking a tightrope now. Their qualities of love, openness, and gentleness were too deeply enmeshed with qualities of dependency, subservience, and masochism. How do you love — without being subservient? How do you maintain a relationship without giving up your identity and without getting strung out? How do you reach out and give your heart to your lover, but maintain the soul which is you?
- "Man – and Woman" in Vermont Freeman (Mid-February 1972)
- I came away from these Wallace [supporter] interviews with two basic feelings. First, that democracy in America (in any sense of the word) just might not make it. My mind flashed to scenes of Germany in the late 1920's. Confusion, rebellion, frustration, economic instability, a wounded national pride, ineffectual political leadership — and the desire for a strong man who would do something, who would bring order out of the chaos. Could it happen here? With the inability of the national leadership to solve the real problems facing this country, could the the blacks, long-hairs, "welfare chiselers", and political dissidents become the Jews and Communists of the Nazi experience? Could it happen here? I see no reason why it couldn't.
- Sanders, Bernie (June 1972). "Wallace in St. Albans: some interviews/some thoughts". Movement 1 (2)., quoted in McDermott, Nathan (May 8, 2019). The Making of Bernie Sanders: How a hitchhiking campaigner pushed a vision that remains remarkably unchanged. CNN.
- What has to be understood is the economic problems of Nicaragua are not unique in Central America or in the third world. In fact, as poor as Nicaragua is, one of the nice things that I saw is that as a result of government policy, direct government policy in terms of the distribution of food, people are not hungry, by and large. I think it’s fair to say. You know, it's funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries people don't line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.
- At least as I see it, and I’m not an expert on this, but this is how I see it. Number one, you want to guarantee that all people have access to healthcare as you do in Canada, but I think what we understand is that unless we change the funding system and the control mechanisms in this country to do that. For example, if we expanded Medicaid, if everybody had Medicaid [inaudible] we would be spending such an astronomical sum of money that we would bankrupt the nation. So maybe you want to talk a bit about that – why in Canada, under their national health system, you can have access for all people and yet per capita, it is less expensive than the United States.
- The real issue is not whether you're black or white, whether you're a woman or a man. In my view, a woman could be elected president of the United States. The real issue is whose side are you on? Are you on the side of workers and poor people, or are you on the side of big money and the corporations?
- 1988, quoted in Zack Budryk (14 January 2020), "Video emerges of Sanders saying in 1988 a woman could be elected president", The Hill
- My ears may have been playing a trick on me, but I thought I heard the gentleman a moment ago say something quote unquote about homos in the military. Was I right in hearing that expression? Was the gentleman referring to the thousands and thousands of gay people who have put their lives on the line in countless wars defending this country? Was that the groups of people that the gentleman was referring to? You have insulted thousands of men and women who have put their lives on the line. I think they are owed an apology.
- Speaking to Representative Duke Cunningham on the floor of the House of Representatives, 11 May 1995, from Watch Bernie Sanders Demolish A Republican Over ‘Homos In The Military’ by Zach Carter, The Huffington Post (22 February 2016)
- I have always been a proponent of a national health care system. It just seemed eminently fair and right. How can we call this a civilized society when the children or parents of the rich get the medical attention they need in order to stay alive, while members of working-class families, who lack health insurance, have to die or needlessly suffer--or go hopelessly into debt to get the care they need? This is an outrageous injustice and it cannot be rationally defended.
- Outsider in the House (1997), p.175
- I say this as an opponent of nuclear power, if I had my way, we would close down every nuclear power plant in this country as soon as we could, safely, but the problem is we have low-level waste. And to turn our backs on that problem and ignore that problem and to say that it will go away is wrong. The environmental debate today should be what is the safest way of disposing of low-level radioactive waste, and I would argue strongly that the passage of this legislation and depositing it in a safer location in Texas is the direction that we should go.
- The strong environmental position should not be and cannot be to do nothing, and to put our heads in the sand and pretend that the problem does not exist. It would be nice if Texas had no low-level radioactive waste, or Vermont or Maine or any other State. That would be great. That is not the reality. The environmental challenge now is, given the reality that low-level radioactive waste exists, what is the safest way of disposing of that waste. Leaving the radioactive waste at the site where it was produced, despite the fact that that site may be extremely unsafe in terms of long-term isolation of the waste and was never intended to be a long- term depository of low-level waste, is horrendous environmental policy. What sense is it to say that you have to keep the waste where it is now, even though that might be very environmentally damaging? That does not make any sense at all. No reputable scientist or environmentalist believes that the geology of Vermont or Maine would be a good place for this waste. In the humid climate of Vermont and Maine, it is more likely that groundwater will come in contact with that waste and carry off radioactive elements to the accessible environment. There is widespread scientific evidence to suggest, on the other hand, that locations in Texas, some of which receive less than 12 inches of rainfall a year, a region where the groundwater table is more than 700 feet below the surface, is a far better location for this waste. This is not a political assertion, it is a geological and environmental reality. ... From an environmental point of view, I urge strong support for this legislation.
- Mr. Speaker, in the brief time I have let me give you five reasons why I'm opposed to giving the President a blank check to launch a unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq and why I will vote against this resolution.
One: I have not heard any estimates of how many young American men and women might die in such a war, or how many tens of thousands of women and children in Iraq might also be killed. As a caring nation, we should do everything we can to prevent the horrible suffering that a war will cause. War must be the last recourse in international relations, not the first.
Second, I am deeply concerned about the precedent that a unilateral invasion of Iraq could establish in terms of international law and the role of the United Nations. If President Bush believes that the US can go to war at any time against any nation, what moral or legal obligation can our government raise if another country chose to do the same thing.
Third, the United States in now involved in a very difficult war against international terrorism, as we learned tragically on September eleventh. We are opposed by Osama Bin Ladin and religious fanatics who are prepared to engage in a kind of warfare that we have never experienced before. I agree with Brent Scowcroft, Republican former national security adviser for President George Bush senior, who stated and I quote, "An attack on Iraq at this time would seriously jeopardize if not destroy the global counter-terrorist campaign we have undertaken."
Fourth, at a time when this country has a six-trillion dollar national debt and a growing deficit, we should be clear that a war and a long-term American occupation of Iraq could be extremely expensive.
Fifth, I am concerned about the problems with so-called unintended consequences. Who will govern Iraq when Saddam Hussein is removed? And what role will the US play in an ensuing civil war that could develop in that country? Will moderate governments in the regions who have large Islamic fundamentalist populations be overthrown and replaced by extremists? Will the bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority be exacerbated? And these are just a few of the questions that remain unanswered.
- Speech on Iraq War Resolution in US House of Representatives (9 October 2002)
- If you are serious about real healthcare reform, the only way to go is single-payer.
- Of course the Republicans have long wanted to privatize Social Security and destroy it. But Social Security has been the most important and valuable social program in the history of the United States.
- PBS NewsHour, 16 February 2011
- These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger. Who's the banana republic now?
- Close The Gaps: Disparities That Threaten America, Valley News, 5 August 2011
- It looks like the South Bronx is prepared to tell the billionaire class they cannot have it all. It looks like the South Bronx wants to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1%. What this campaign is about is creating a political revolution. All over this country I am seeing millions of people standing up, fighting back, saying, “enough is enough.”
- Want to get on the front page of the paper? I have to make some vicious attack. I won't do that. I’m running an issue-oriented campaign.
- Democratic debate (17 January 2016)
- Enough is enough! [...] How many homes can you own?
- The bottom line is when Senator Inhofe says global warming is a hoax, he is just dead wrong, according to the vast majority of climate scientists.
- Regarding Global warming, Gerken, James (31 July 2012). "Senator Bernie Sanders: Climate Change Is Real, Senator Inhofe Is 'Dead Wrong'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved on 16 October 2013.
- The real issue here, if you look at the Koch Brothers' agenda, is: look at what many of the extreme right-wing people believe. Obamacare is just the tip of the iceberg. These people want to abolish the concept of the minimum wage, they want to privatize the Veteran's Administration, they want to privatize Social Security, end Medicare as we know it, massive cuts in Medicaid, wipe out the EPA, you don’t have an Environmental Protection Agency anymore, Department of Energy gone, Department of Education gone. That is the agenda. And many people don’t understand that the Koch Brothers have poured hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars into the tea party and two other kinds of ancillary organizations to push this agenda.
- Regarding the United States federal government shutdown of 2013, Sanders, Bernie (7 October 2013). MSNBC News Interview (7 October 2013) (06:41). YouTube. Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
- Staff (8 October 2013). "Bernie Sanders Says Koch Brothers Shut Down Government Via Citizens United". The Inquisitr. Retrieved on 12 October 2013.
- Americans' right to free speech should not be proportionate to their bank accounts.
- I find it remarkable that Saudi Arabia, which borders Iraq and is controlled by a multi-billion dollar family, is demanding that U.S. combat troops have ‘boots on the ground’ against ISIS. Where are the Saudi troops? With the third largest military budget in the world and an army far larger than ISIS, the Saudi government must accept its full responsibility for stability in their own region of the world. Ultimately, this is a profound struggle for the soul of Islam, and the anti-ISIS Muslim nations must lead that fight. While the United States and other western nations should be supportive, the Muslim nations must lead.
- Piccoli, Sean (6 March 2015). "Sen. Bernie Sanders Rips Saudis for Demanding US Troops Fight ISIS". NewsMax. Retrieved on 17 March 2015.
- Diamond, Jeremy (6 March 2015). "Sen. Bernie Sanders: 'I'll be damned' if Americans lead ISIS fight". CNN News. Retrieved on 17 March 2015.
- Sanders, Bernie (March 6, 2015). "Sanders Calls Saudi Demand for U.S. Ground Troops ‘Offensive’". US Senate. Retrieved on March 17, 2015.
- What we have seen is that while the average person is working longer hours for lower wages, we have seen a huge increase in income and wealth inequality, which is now reaching obscene levels. This is a rigged economy, which works for the rich and the powerful, and is not working for ordinary Americans … You know, this country just does not belong to a handful of billionaires.
- Staff (29 April 2015). "Bernie Sanders confirms presidential run and damns America's inequities". the Guardian. Retrieved on 2 May 2015.
- No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure could send the world economy into another financial crisis ... If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.
- Huntley, Steve (1 May 2015). "Steve Huntley: Sanders the socialist sure gets it right on big banks". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on 2 May 2015.
- We have a crisis in higher education today. Too many of our young people cannot afford a college education and those who are leaving college are faced with crushing debt. It is a national disgrace that hundreds of thousands of young Americans today do not go to college, not because they are unqualified, but because they cannot afford it. This is absolutely counterproductive to our efforts to create a strong competitive economy and a vibrant middle class. This disgrace has got to end. In a global economy, when our young people are competing with workers from around the world, we have got to have the best educated workforce possible. And, that means that we have got to make college affordable. We have got to make sure that every qualified American in this country who wants to go to college can go to college -- regardless of income. Further, it is unacceptable that 40 million Americans are drowning in more than $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. It is unacceptable that millions of college graduates cannot afford to buy their first home or their first new car because of the high interest rates they are paying on student debt. It is unacceptable that, in many instances, interest rates on student loans are two to three times higher than on auto loans.
- Let's be clear: This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders, it is not about Hillary Clinton, it is not about Jeb Bush or anyone else. This campaign is about the needs of the American people. As someone who has never run a negative political ad in his life, my campaign will be driven by issues and serious debate; not political gossip, not reckless personal attacks or character assassination. This is what I believe the American people want and deserve.
- Rally, Burlington, Vermont, quoted in Patrick Healy (26 May 2015), "Bernie Sanders Challenges Hillary Clinton at His First Rally", New York Times
- "We have a president right now who doesn't consider himself a socialist but people call him a socialist as an insult. Are you concerned at all about framing yourself as this?" ...
- "Not if we have the opportunity to describe what democratic socialism means. ... You have countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway ... which have had social democratic governments. ... In those countries, healthcare is a right for all people. ... Tuition is free. ... In those countries, governments are working for the middle class, rather than the billionaire class."
- Are we happy that 99% of all new income is going to the top 1%? Are we happy that one family in this country owns more than the bottom 130 million people?
- Late Night with Seth Meyers, (2 June 2015)
- Warren Buffett, one of the richest guys in the world, openly admits that his effective tax rate is lower than his secretary's. It's time to tell the billionaire class that if they want to enjoy the benefits of America, they have to accept their responsibilities, and they have to start paying their fair share of taxes.
- Late Night with Seth Meyers, (2 June 2015)
- In the last thirty years, there has been a massive redistribution of wealth. Unfortunately, it's gone in the wrong direction. ... All that money that has gone from the middle class to the top 1%, I think it should start coming back to the people who need it the most.
- Late Night with Seth Meyers, (2 June 2015)
- There are millions and millions of people who are tired of establishment politics, who are tired of corporate greed, who want a candidate that will help lead a mass movement in this country. ... What people are saying is, "Enough is enough. The billionaire class cannot have it all."
- In my view, and we've introduced legislation to deal with this, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist.
- 2016 Presidential Campaign Rally in Madison, Wisconsin, (1 July 2015) at 43:00
- What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don't believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.
You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you're a white high school graduate, it's 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?
I think from a moral responsibility we've got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don't do that by making people in this country even poorer.
- Open borders? [...] That's a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. [...] It would make everybody in America poorer. You're doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don't think there's any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a country called the United States or any other country, you have an obligation to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don't believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.
- Interview with Ezra Klein (29 July 2015)
- My friends, the Republican Party did not win the midterm election in November: We lost that election. We lost because voter turnout was abysmally, embarrassingly low, and millions of working people, young people and people of color gave up on politics as usual and they stayed home. That’s a fact. In my view, Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate or the U.S. House, will not be successful in dozens of governor races across the country, unless we generate excitement and momentum and produce a huge voter turnout. With all due respect – and I do not mean to insult anyone here – that turnout, that enthusiasm, will not happen with politics as usual. The people of our country understand that given the collapse of the American middle class, and given the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality we are experiencing, we do not need more establishment politics or establishment economics.
- Address to the Democratic National Committee’s Summer Meeting, Bernie Sanders Warns Democrats They May Not Win in 2016 Without Him, The New York Times (28 August 2015)
- I think obviously vaccinations work. Vaccination has worked for many, many years. I am sensitive to the fact that there are some families who disagree but the difficulty is if I have a kid who is suffering from an illness who is subjected to a kid who walks into a room without vaccines that could kill that child and that's wrong.
- FeelTheBern.org, "Issues" (5 September 2015)
- A nation that in many ways was created—I'm sorry to have to say this, from way back—on racist principles, that's a fact, we have come a long way as a nation.
- Absolutely, in fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism.
- What happens in Syria, for example, there's some thought about this. When you have drought, when people can't grow their crops, they're going to migrate into cities and when people migrate into cities and when they don't have jobs, there's going to be a lot more instability, a lot more unemployment and people will be subject to the types of propaganda that Al Qaeda and ISIS are using right now and so where you have discontent you have instability, that's where problems arise and certainly without a doubt, a climate change will lead to that.
- "Bernie Sanders doubles down on link between climate change and terrorism", CBS News (15 November 2015), when asked how drought connect with ISIS attacks in Paris.
- Democratic socialism means that in a democratic, civilized society the wealthiest people and the largest corporations must pay their fair share of taxes.
- "Bernie Sanders Speech On Democratic Socialism", (19 November 2015).
- Let me define for you, simply and straightforwardly, what Democratic socialism means to me. It builds on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he fought for guaranteed economic rights for all Americans. And it builds on what Martin Luther King, Jr said in 1968 when he stated that; “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor.” It builds on the success of many other countries around the world that have done a far better job than we have in protecting the needs of their working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.
Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy. Democratic socialism means that we must reform a political system in America today which is not only grossly unfair but, in many respects, corrupt.... Wall Street CEOs who help destroy the economy get raises in their salaries. This is what Martin Luther King, Jr. meant by socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for everyone else.
We should not be providing welfare for corporations, huge tax breaks for the very rich, or trade policies which boost corporate profits as workers lose their jobs. It means that we create a government that works for works for all of us, not just powerful special interests. It means that economic rights must be an essential part of what America stands for.
- "Democratic Socialism in the United States" (19 November 2015)
- I don't believe government should take over the grocery store down the street or own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a decent standard of living and that their incomes should go up, not down. I do believe in private companies that thrive and invest and grow in America, companies that create jobs here, rather than companies that are shutting down in America and increasing their profits by exploiting low-wage labor abroad.
- "Bernie Sanders Speech On Democratic Socialism", (19 November 2015).
Liberty University Speech (14 September 2015)
- "So in everything, do to others what you would have them to do to you, for this sums up the war and the prophets." That is the golden rule. Do unto others, what you would have them do to you. That is the golden rule, and it is not very complicated.
- Now here is my point. Some of you may agree with me, and some of you may not, but in my view, it would be hard for anyone in this room today to make the case that the United States of America, our great country, a country which all of us love, it would be hard to make the case that we are a just society, or anything resembling a just society today.
- There is no justice, and I want you to hear this clearly, when the top one-tenth of 1 percent -- not 1 percent, the top one-tenth of 1 percent -- today in America owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. And in your hearts, you will have to determine the morality of that, and the justice of that.
- Do you think it's moral when 20 percent of the children in this country, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, are living in poverty? Do you think it is acceptable that 40 percent of African American children are living in poverty?
- In my view, there is no justice when low income and working class mothers are forced to separate from their babies one or two weeks after birth and go back to work because they need the money that their jobs provide. Now I know everybody here -- we all are, maybe in different ways, but all of us believe in family values.
- When you look around the world, you see every other major country providing health care to all people as a right, except the United States. You see every other major country saying to moms that, when you have a baby, we’re not gonna separate you from your newborn baby, because we are going to have — we are gonna have medical and family paid leave, like every other country on Earth. Those are some of the principles that I believe in, and I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.
- Quoted in Claire Zillman (17 February 2016), "Bernie Sanders Was Right: Denmark Is the Best Nation for Working People", Fortune
- America's first black president cannot and will not be succeeded by a hatemonger who refuses to condemn the KKK.
- Twitter, 2016-02-28, quoted in Melissa Chan (28 February 2016), "Trump Blasted by Rivals and Civil Rights Groups for Refusing to Condemn the KKK", Time Magazine
- When you're white you don't know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto, you don’t know what it's like to be poor...You don't know what it’s like to be hassled when you walk down the street, or dragged out of a car. And I believe that as a nation in the year 2016, we must be firm in making it clear, we will end institutional racism and reform a broken criminal justice system
- Amanda Terkel (6 March 2016), "Sanders: If You're White You Don't Know What It's Like To Be Poor", Huffington Post
- No, I'm very proud of being Jewish. And being Jewish is so much of what I am. Look, my father's family was wiped out by Hitler in the Holocaust. I know about what crazy and radical and extremist politics mean. I learned that lesson as a tiny, tiny child when my mother would take me shopping, and we would see people working in stores who had numbers on their arms because they were in Hitler's concentration camps. I'm very proud of being Jewish. And that's an essential part of who I am as a human being.
- Zack Beauchamp (6 March 2016), "Watch: Bernie Sanders’s incredibly moving answer on his Judaism", Vox
- Anybody help me out here, because I don't remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right? I don't have it in my number... but I think it's over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don't think I'm alone in believing that Israel's force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.
- Quoted in Eric Cortellessa (5 April 2016), "Massively inflating toll, Sanders suggests Israel killed ‘over 10,000 innocents’ in Gaza", The Times of Israel
- "Sanders' estimate far exceeds even Palestinian sources, which estimate that 1,462 Palestinians were killed out of the 2,251 Gaza War fatalities in 2014. Israeli figures are lower." Ariel Cohen, "Sanders: Israel 'indiscriminately' killed '10,000' Palestinians" Washington Examiner (5 April 2016)
- We are living in a world where greed has become for the wealthiest people their own religion, and they make no apologies for it.
- I learnt a lot about democracy in the schoolyards of Brooklyn, New York.
- Bernie from Brooklyn: A Conversation with Mark Ruffalo (April 16, 2016)
- The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be. That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast. That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.
- León Krauze: I am sure that you know about this topic: various leftist governments, especially the populists, are in serious trouble in Latin America. The socialist model in Venezuela has the country near collapse. Argentina, also Brazil, how do you explain that failure?
Bernie Sanders: You are asking me questions...
Krauze: I am sure you're interested in that.
Sanders: I am very interested, but right now I'm running for President of the United States.
Krauze: So you don't have an opinion about the crisis in Venezuela?
Sanders: Of course I have an opinion, but as I said, I'm focused on my campaign.
- Interview with Univision's León Krauze, as quoted in "Bernie Hits Bump on Univision: Speechless on Socialism’s Failures" by Edgard Portela, NewsBusters (26 May 2016)
- I've got to tell you, 25 years ago, I believe that in this country, we should not be selling automatic weapons which are designed to kill people. We have got to do everything that we can on top of that to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them, criminals, people who are mentally ill. So that struggles continues.
- Meet the Press, NBC, 12 June 2016
- The political revolution is not about one election or one candidate. It is about transforming America and continuing the fight for economic, social, racial and environmental justice. We have to continue to work together to advance the progressive future we all support.
- In a email message to his delegates — Sanders's full message: Movement damaged by 'booing, walking out', The Washington Post (25 July 2016)
- People can argue about the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but everyone knows it’s not a killer drug like heroin.
- Twitter (11 August 2016), quoted in David Weigel (11 August 2016), "Sanders joins Democrats criticizing DEA for marijuana decision", Washington Post
- I am disappointed by the president's decision to continue pushing forward on the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that will cost American jobs, harm the environment, increase the cost of prescription drugs and threaten our ability to protect public health. This treaty is opposed by every trade union in the country and virtually the entire grassroots base of the Democratic Party. ... Secretary Clinton made her strongest statement to date against this deal. In my view, it is now time for the leadership of the Democratic Party in the Senate and the House to join Secretary Clinton and go on the record in opposition to holding a vote on this job-killing trade deal during the lame-duck session of Congress and beyond. We need to defeat this treaty and fundamentally rewrite our trade policies to create good-paying jobs in this country and throughout the world and end the race to the bottom. I will continue to do everything I can to make sure that the TPP does not get implemented.
- Sanders Statement on Push to Pass Pacific Trade Pact (12 August 2016)
- It is an international embarrassment that we put more people behind bars than any other country on earth. Due in large part to private prisons, incarceration has been a source of major profits to private corporations. Study after study after study has shown private prisons are not cheaper, they are not safer, and they do not provide better outcomes for either the prisoners or the state. We have got to end the private prison racket in America as quickly as possible. Our focus should be on keeping people out of jail and making sure they stay out when they are released. This means funding jobs and education not more jails and incarceration.
- Sanders Applauds Decision to End Federal Use of Private Prisons (18 August 2016)
- The business model of Wall Street is fraud. In my view, there is no better example than the recently-exposed illegal behavior at Wells Fargo.
- We have got to end the two-tier justice system — one for the poor and working class and one for Wall Street and the wealthy — that has existed for far too long in this country.
- Wall Street won’t change until we make it clear that no bank is too big to fail and no CEO is too big to jail.
- What media loves is to focus on the candidates. What the American people, I believe, want is for us to focus on them, not the candidates, not anymore.
- as interviewed by Amy Goodman, "Bernie Sanders Warns That Corporate Media Threatens Democracy," Alternet, (28 December 2016)
Democratic Presidential Debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (11 February 2016)
- Nine months ago, our campaign began. And when it began, we had no political organization, no money, and not much name recognition outside of the state of Vermont. A lot has happened in nine months.
And what has happened is, I think, the American people have responded to a series of basic truths, and that is that we have today a campaign finance system which is corrupt, which is undermining American democracy, which allows Wall Street and billionaires to pour huge sums of money into the political process to elect the candidates of their choice.
And aligned with a corrupt campaign finance system is a rigged economy. And that's an economy where ordinary Americans are working longer hours for low wagers. They are worried to death about the future of their kids. And yet they are seeing almost all new income and all new wealth going to the top 1 percent.
And then in addition to that, the American people are looking around and they see a broken criminal justice system. They see more people in jail in the United States of America than any other country on earth, 2.2 million. We're spending $80 billion a year locking up fellow Americans.
- Well, Secretary Clinton, you're not in the White House yet. And let us be clear that every proposal that I have introduced has been paid for. For example, all right, who in America denies that we have an infrastructure that is crumbling? Roads, bridges, water systems, wastewater plants, who denies that?
Who denies that real unemployment today, including those who have given up looking for work and are working part-time is close to 10 percent? Who denies that African-American youth unemployment, real, is over 50 percent.
- Yes, I do believe that now after the American people bailed Wall Street out, yes, they should pay a Wall Street speculation tax so that we can make public colleges and universities tuition-free.
- But, here is a pledge I've made throughout this campaign, and it's really not a very radical pledge. When we have more people in jail, disproportionately African American and Latino, than China does, a communist authoritarian society four times our size. Here's my promise, at the end of my first term as president we will not have more people in jail than any other country.
- 29 million people have no health insurance today in America. We pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. One out of five Americans can't even afford the prescriptions their doctors are writing. Millions of people have high deductibles and co-payments. I don't know what economists Secretary Clinton is talking to, but what I have said, is that the family right in the middle of the economy would pay $500 dollars more in taxes, and get a reduction in their healthcare costs of $5,000 dollars. In my view healthcare is a right of all people, not a privilege, and I will fight for that.
- There is one major country that does not guarantee health care to all people. There is one major country--the United States--which ends up spending almost three times per capita what they do in the U.K. guaranteeing health care to all people, 50 percent more than they do in France guaranteeing health care to all people, far more than our Canadian neighbors, who guarantee health care to all people.
Democratic Presidential Debate in Miami (9 March 2016)
- Billionaires and Wall Street should not be buying elections.
- Today in America, the middle class is disappearing.
- I think that the American people are never going to elect a president who insults Mexicans, who insults Muslims, who insults women, who insults African-Americans. And let us not forget that several years ago, Trump was in the middle of the so- called birther movement, trying to delegitimize the president of the United States of America. You know, I find it very interesting, Karen, my dad was born in Poland. I know a little bit about the immigrant experience. Nobody has ever asked me for my birth certificate. Maybe it has something to do with the color of my skin.
- Poverty is increasing. And if wages are going down, I don’t know why we need millions of people to be coming into this country as guestworkers who will work for lower wages than American workers and drive wages down even lower than they are right now. ... You have guestworker programs that have been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the important institutions in this country who studies these issues, as guestworkers programs akin to slavery, where people came in. They were cheated. They were abused. They were humiliated. And if they stood up for their rights, they would be thrown out of the country. I supported the 2013 immigration reform bill. And what I believe right now is not only that we need comprehensive immigration reform. ... In this country, immigration reform is a very hot debate. It’s divided the country. But I would hope very much, that as we have that debate, we do not, as Donald Trump and others have done, resort to racism and xenophobia and bigotry. This idea of suddenly, one day or maybe a night, rounding up 11 million people and taking them outside of this country is a vulgar, absurd idea that I would hope very few people in America support.
- I applaud President Obama for his efforts on DAPA and DACA. And I think we have got to expand those efforts. ... Now I happen to agree with President Obama on many, many issues. I think he has done a great job as president of the United States. He is wrong on this issue of deportation. I disagree with him on that.
- I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act, and let me be as clear as I can be: Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs against our most deeply held American values.
My hopes and prayers are that Representative Scalise, congressional staff and the Capitol Police Officers who were wounded make a quick and full recovery. I also want to thank the Capitol Police for their heroic actions to prevent further harm.
- Sanders: I have a D minus voting record, from the NRA. I lost an election probably, for congress here in Vermont back in 1988, because I believe we should not be selling or distributing assault weapons in this country. I am on record and have been for a very long time in saying we have got to significantly tighten up the background checks. We have to end the absurdity of the gun show loophole. 40 percent of the guns in this country are sold without any background checks. We have to deal with the straw man provision which allows people to legally buy guns and then distribute. We’ve got to take on the NRA. And that is my view. And I am, will do everything I can to—the tragedy that we saw in Parkland is unspeakable. And all over this country, parents are scared to death of what might happen when they send their kids to school. This problem is not going to be easily solved. Nobody has a magic solution, alright, but we’ve got to do everything we can do protect the children—
Todd: What does that mean? You say everything we can. Does that mean raising the age when you can purchase an AR-15? Does that mean limiting the purchase of AR-15s?
Sanders: Yes! Yeah, look. Chuck, what I just told you is that for 30 years, I believe that we should not be selling assault weapons in this country. These weapons are not for hunting, they are for killing human beings. These are military weapons. I do not know why we have five million of them running around the United States of America, so of course we have to do that. Of course we have to make it harder for people to purchase weapons. We have people now who are on terrorist watch lists who can purchase a weapon. Does this make any sense to anybody. Bottom line here, Republicans are going to have to say that it’s more important to protect the children of this country than to antagonize the NRA. Are they prepared to do that, I surely hope they are.
- I think that what we need is to create policies which deal with immigration in a rational way. And a rational way is not locking children up in detention centers or separating them from their mothers. What we need is Trump to sit down with members of Congress and work on a rational program which deals with this serious issue.
- I am not a great fan of shouting down people or being rude to people, I think we have a situation and a Congress that's way out of touch with where the American people are. People have a right to be angry when Congress gives tax breaks to billionaires and wants to cut nutrition programs for low income pregnant women. You have a right to be angry. Take that out in a constructive way. ... I think people have a right to go into a restaurant and have dinner, that's where we got to place our energy. I do know that people are angry. They are angry about these terribly inhumane immigration policies. They're angry about the fact they can't afford prescription drugs. They are angry about tax breaks that go to billionaires. The way to deal with that is exactly what Alexandria did. Organize at the grass roots level. Win elections and get involved in the political process.
- As the FEC fundraising deadline for 2019 approaches, I am once again asking for your financial support.
- This quote from one of Sanders' fundraising videos later became a meme. (December 30, 2019)
- Now there’s a real competition going on up here... My good friend Joe (Biden)... he’s received contributions from 44 billionaires. Pete (Buttigieg) on the other hand, is trailing, you only got 39 billionaires contributing.
- Instead of spending $1.8 trillion a year globally on weapons of destruction... to kill each other, maybe we pool our resources and fight our common enemy which is climate change... I do believe this is the existential issue... People of color in fact, are going to be the people suffering most if we do not deal with climate change.
- Sanders takes aim at Biden, Buttigieg in heated debate, in VTDigger (Dec 19, 2019)
- President Donald Trump’s own words helped inspire the worst act of antisemitic violence in American history.
- We have to be clear that while antisemitism is a threat to Jews everywhere, it is also a threat to democratic governance itself. The antisemites who marched in Charlottesville don’t just hate Jews. They hate the idea of multiracial democracy. They hate the idea of political equality. They hate immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and anyone else who stands in the way of a whites-only America. They accuse Jews of coordinating a massive attack on white people worldwide, using people of color and other marginalized groups to do their dirty work.
- The forces fomenting antisemitism are the forces arrayed against oppressed people around the world, including Palestinians; the struggle against antisemitism is also the struggle for Palestinian freedom. I stand in solidarity with my friends in Israel, in Palestine, and around the world who are trying to resolve conflict, diminish hatred, and promote dialogue, cooperation, and understanding.
- I agree with what goes on in Canada and in Scandinavia: guaranteeing healthcare to all people as a human right. I believe that the United States should not be the only major country on Earth not to provide paid family and medical leave. I believe that every worker in this country deserves a living wage and that we expand the trade union movement.
- I happen to believe also that what, to me, democratic socialism means is we deal with an issue we do not discuss enough... not in the media and not in Congress. You’ve got three people in America owning more wealth than the bottom half of this country. You’ve got a handful of billionaires controlling what goes on in Wall Street, the insurance companies and in the media. Maybe, just maybe, what we should be doing is creating an economy that works for all of us, not 1%. That’s my understanding of democratic socialism.
- We have to talk about democratic socialism as an alternative to unfettered capitalism, where the rich get richer and almost everybody else is getting poorer. I think that’s a message that young people are receptive to, and I think it’s a message that working people are receptive to.
- Right now, the average worker in America is making, in inflation-accounted-for dollars, and despite a huge increase in technology and worker productivity, exactly the same amount of money that he or she made 43 years ago. That’s incomprehensible.
- There has been a massive transfer of wealth from the working class of this country to the top 1 percent. And at the end of the day, John—and the media doesn’t talk about it, the corporate media does not talk about it—nobody can defend three families in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of the American people. Or that 49 percent of all new income today goes to the top 1 percent. That is indefensible. That is outrageous. That is immoral. And I think the American people understand that has got to change...
- Today, we say to our young people that we want you to get the best education that you can, regardless of the income of your family. Good jobs require a good education. That is why we are going to make public colleges and universities tuition free, and cancel all student debt...
- College for All and Cancel All Student Debt (June 2019)
- Attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman are unacceptable and must be fully investigated... but this incident must not be used as a pretext for a war with Iran, a war which would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States, Iran, the region, and the world... The time is now for the United States to exert international leadership,... and bring the countries in the region together to forge a diplomatic solution to the growing tensions...I would also remind President Trump that there is no congressional authorization for a war with Iran... A unilateral U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal and unconstitutional.
- Andrea Germanos (14 June 2019), "Trump Must Not Be Allowed to Use Gulf of Oman Incidents as 'Pretext for Illegal War With Iran': Bernie Sanders", Common Dreams
- What he [Donald Trump] is doing and this is his entire political strategy is to divide the American people... So you have a president who gives tax breaks to billionaires and wants to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. That's not what he's going to run on. You've got a president who tried to throw 32 million people off health care. He ain't gonna run on that one. You got a president who gave 83% of the tax benefits to the top 1%, not going to run on that one. So how do you win an election? What do you say — "You see those undocumented people, they all your enemy. Stand with me. Hate them. Let's divide this country up." I think that is an incredibly ugly and dangerous thing to be done. And I will do everything I can to stop that.
- Face the Nation, CBS, 2019-06-23, quoted in Chris Morran (23 June 2019), "'Stand With Me. Hate Them': Bernie Sanders says Trump's Relection Plan is Based on Dividing the Country", Newsweek
- In the richest country in the history of the world, it is not radical to demand that when people turn on their taps, the water they drink is safe and clean. It has been 5 years since the start of the Flint water crisis. This is absolutely unacceptable.
- Twitter post, (25 April 2019), quoted in Ron Fonger (25 April 2019), "City flags fly at half-staff as mayor tells Flint to 'never forget’ water crisis", MLive
- If somebody commits a serious crime – sexual assault, murder – they're going to be punished. They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That's what happens when you commit a serious crime. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, 'Well, that guy committed a terrible crime; not going to let him vote. You're running down a slippery slope.
- Takeaways from Bernie Sanders' CNN town hall, Eric Bradner and Maeve Reston (April 22, 2019) speech at CNN Town Hall, Manchester, NH
- I learned a great deal about immigration as a child because my father came from Poland at the age of 17, without a nickel in his pocket, without knowing one word of English. He came to the United States to escape the crushing poverty that existed in his community, and to escape widespread anti-Semitism. And, it was a good thing that he came to this country because virtually his entire family was wiped out by Hitler and Nazi barbarism... The underlying principles of our government will not be racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and religious bigotry. I did not come from a family that taught me to build a corporate empire through housing discrimination. I protested housing discrimination, was arrested for protesting school segregation, and one of the proudest days of my life was attending the March on Washington for jobs and freedom led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Quoted in Cornel West on Bernie, Trump, and Racism, The Intercept, Mehdi Hasan (7 March 2019)
- What I fear is going on in the House now is an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate. That’s wrong
Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world
We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel.
- Coming from a lower-middle-class family, I will never forget how money or, really, lack of money was always a point of stress in our family... My experience as a child growing up in a family that struggled economically powerfully influenced my values,” he went on, describing growing up the son of a Polish-Jewish immigrant paint salesman who lost nearly his entire family in the Holocaust....Unlike Donald Trump, who shut down the government and left 800,000 federal employees without income to pay their bills, I know what it’s like to be in a family that lives paycheck to paycheck... I did not have a father who gave me millions of dollars to buy luxury skyscrapers, casinos, and country clubs. I did not come from a family that gave me a $200,000 allowance every year beginning at the age of 3. As I recall, my allowance was 25 cents a week...I did not come from a family that taught me to build a corporate empire through housing discrimination, I protested housing discrimination, was arrested for protesting school segregation, and one of the proudest days of my life was attending the March On Washington For Jobs and Freedom led Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Quoted in Matthew Zeitlin (4 March 2019), "Bernie Has Feelings, Too!", The Nation
- We are going to transform this country and finally create an economy and a government which works for all of us, not just the 1 percent. The underlying principles of our government will not be greed, hatred and lies. It will not be racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and religious bigotry. This campaign will be based on justice—on economic justice, on social justice, on racial justice, on environmental justice.
- Quoted in Khristina Narizhnaya and Eileen AJ Connelly (2 March 2019), "Bernie Sanders kicks off 2020 campaign in Brooklyn", The New York Post
- At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, when the three richest Americans own more wealth than 160 million Americans, it is literally beyond belief that the Republican leadership wants to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 0.2 percent...
- Our bill does what the American people want by substantially increasing the estate tax on the wealthiest families in this country and dramatically reducing wealth inequality. From a moral, economic, and political perspective our nation will not thrive when so few have so much and so many have so little.
- John Nichols (12 February 2019), "Bernie Sanders Has a Plan to Tax the Rich That’s About As Radical as What Teddy Roosevelt Proposed", The Nation
- The difficulty that we have, and I don't mean to be rude here, is that we have a president who is a pathological liar. So, could it be true? I guess it could be. Is it likely to be true? Probably not. And I think what happens in our own country and around the world, people don't believe much of what Trump says, and when you lie all the time, the problem is sometimes when you're telling the truth that people are not gonna believe you.
- Today, NBC, quoted in Adam Edelman (10 January 2020), "Sen. Bernie Sanders slams Trump as 'pathological liar'", NBC News
- The difference between my socialism and Trump's socialism is, I believe the government should help working families, not billionaires.
- Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, quoted in Russell Berman (11 February 2020), "The Night Socialism Went Mainstream", The Atlantic
- It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn't win. It's sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren't in the room are lying about what happened. What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could. Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.
- Annie Linskey and Sean Sullivan (13 January 2020), "Sanders-Warren feud takes a turn onto the dangerous turf of gender", Washington Post
- If there is going to be class warfare in this country, it’s time that the working class of this country won that war and not just the corporate elite. (Senator Sanders was speaking to the Iowa AFL-CIO convention summer 2019)
- Let's talk about democratic socialism. We are living in many ways in a socialist society right now. The problem is, as Dr. Martin Luther King reminded us, "We have socialism for the very rich, rugged individualism for the poor." When Donald Trump gets $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury condominiums, that's socialism for the rich. We have to subsidize Walmart’s workers on Medicaid and food stamps because the wealthiest family in America pays starvation wages. That's socialism for the rich. I believe in democratic socialism for working people. Not billionaires. Health care for all. Educational opportunity for all.
- "Bloomberg takes a beating, Sanders defends socialism in fiery debate", Politico, 19 February 2020
- Occasionally, it might be a good idea to be honest about American foreign policy.
- South Carolina democratic debate (25 February 2020), as quoted in CNN
- Donald Trump is the most dangerous president in the modern history of our country and he must be defeated.
Tragically, we have a president today who is a pathological liar and who is running a corrupt administration. He clearly does not understand the Constitution of the United States and thinks that he is a president who is above the law. In my view, he is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe and a religious bigot, and he must be defeated, and I will do everything in my power to make that happen.
- Let me be absolutely clear: in terms of potential deaths and the impact on our economy, the crisis we face from coronavirus is on the scale of a major war, and we must act accordingly. Nobody knows how many fatalities we may see, but they could equal or surpass the U.S. casualties we saw in World War II. It is an absolute moral imperative that our response -- as a government, as a society, as business communities, and as individuals -- meets the enormity of this crisis... If our neighbor or co-worker gets sick, we have the potential to get sick. If our neighbors lose their jobs, then our local economies suffer, and we may lose our jobs. If doctors and nurses do not have the equipment and staffing capacity they need now, people we know and love may die. The American people deserve transparency... We need daily information -- clear, science-based information -- from credible scientific voices, not politicians.
- The pharmaceutical industry must be told in no uncertain terms that the medicines that they manufacture for this crisis will be sold at cost. This is not the time for profiteering or price gouging.
- Here is the bottom line. When we are dealing with this crisis, we need to listen to the scientists, to the researchers, to the medical folks, not politicians. We need an emergency response to this crisis and we need it now.
- Jake Johnson (12 March 2020), "Now Is the Time for Solidarity: Bernie Sanders Addresses Health and Economic Crisis Facing US as Coronavirus Spreads", Common Dreams
- Let's be clear, the lack of health care and affordable medicine does not only threaten the health and well-being of the uninsured, it impacts everyone who comes in contact with them. In fact, what this crisis is beginning to teach us is that we are only as safe as the least insured person in America.
- Press conference, Burlington, Vermont, quoted in Seth McLaughlin (13 March 2020), "America 'only as safe as the least insured person,' Sanders says regarding coronavirus emergency", The Washington Times
- Sanders: You have to stop with this. I'm dealing with a fucking global crisis. You know? We're dealing with it and you're asking me these questions.
Manu Raju (CNN): You're running for president, so...
Sanders: Well right now I'm running. Right now I'm trying to do my best to make sure that we don't have an economic meltdown and that people don't die. Is that enough to you? To keep you busy for today?
- Press conference about coronavirus measures, 2020-03-18, asked about his campaign plans, quoted in Tom Pappert (19 March 2020), "Audio: Bernie Asked About Ending Campaign, Responds ‘I’m Dealing With A F*cking Global Crisis’", National File
- Trump was saying that the only way he could lose the election is if there was — let me get the exact quote — "the only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election." Now he is making that statement at a time when virtually every national poll has him behind.
- I think it is fair to say that in many ways the Democratic Party has become a party of the coastal elites, folks who have a lot of money, upper-middle-class people who are good people, who believe in social justice in many respects.... But I think for many, many years the Democratic Party has not paid the kind of attention to working-class needs that they should've.
Quotes about Sanders
(most recent first)
- As military historian and retired career officer Andrew Bacevich notes, “endless wars persist (and in some cases have even intensified); the nation’s various alliances and its empire of overseas bases remain intact; US troops are still present in something like 140 countries; Pentagon and national security state spending continues to increase astronomically.” When the National Defense Authorization Act for the next fiscal year came before Congress this summer, Senator Bernie Sanders proposed a modest 10 percent reduction in military spending so $70 billion could be re-directed to domestic programs. Representative Barbara Lee introduced a House resolution calling for $350 billion worth of DOD cuts. Neither proposal has gained much traction, even among Democrats on Capitol Hill. Instead, the House Armed Services Committee just voted 56 to 0 to spend $740.5 billion on the Pentagon in the coming year, prefiguring the outcome of upcoming votes by the full House and Senate.
- Patriotic Dissent: How a Working-Class Soldier Turned Against “Forever Wars”, by Steve Early and Suzanne Gordon, CounterPunch, (24 July 2020)
- The big corporate Democratic Party donors made it clear that if Bernie Sanders became the presidential nominee, they would support Trump. The donor class has created a system where they cannot fail. If it's Trump or Biden, Goldman Sachs doesn't lose, ExxonMobil doesn't lose, Raytheon doesn't lose, Citibank doesn't lose. There is no way that they can lose. They have rigged the system so that their interests are always served.
- Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders received the most votes in the first three primary elections. After centrist Joe Biden scored his first primary win, the DNC consolidated the Democratic Party establishment around him. Candidates... immediately dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden... The party bosses likely wanted to ensure that Sanders would not upend the corporate order... At the March 15 debate with Biden, Sanders asked the rhetorical question: Where is the power in America?...“Who owns the media? Who owns the economy? Who owns the legislative process? Why do we give tax breaks to billionaires and not raise the minimum wage? Why do we pump up the oil industry while a half a million people are homeless in America?” Sanders criticized the bipartisan $8.3 billion coronavirus spending bill. It mandates temporary paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave. But it exempts companies with more than 500 employees from the obligation to provide leave, excluding about 6.5 million workers. Moreover, the exemptions disproportionately hurt low-wage workers. And it contains no limits on the ability of the pharmaceutical companies to profit from the coronavirus... When he defines himself as a democratic socialist, Sanders said, he means “Economic rights are human rights.” The core of his Medicare for All plan is, “Health care is a human right.”
- No matter who wins the Democratic presidential nomination, many millions of people will refuse to unsee what has become all too clear. On the verge of spring 2020, we can see what we’re up against:
A crowing media establishment, eager to relegate the Bernie Sanders campaign to the political margins.
A gloating Democratic Party establishment, glad to rally around Potemkin candidate Joe Biden and extol his carefully crafted façade.
Overall, interlocking systems based on greed and corporate power instead of shared resources and genuine democracy.
- On Tuesday night, there was no mistaking the smug joy of studio pundits and Democratic Party operatives on networks like AT&T-owned CNN and Comcast-owned MSNBC. Meanwhile, the New York Times rushed into print yet another all-out attack piece masquerading as a “news” article about Sanders. Dominant media have routinely slanted coverage to make Sanders look bad, often bypassing context and skewing facts. It was just another day at the office last week when the Times front-paged a flagrant smear of Sanders as a supposed propaganda tool of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. A former U.S. ambassador to Moscow quickly denounced the story as a “distortion of history.”
Such regular deceptions from a range of corporate media shouldn’t surprise us, but they should never cease to outrage us. The same is true of the rampant corporate sleaziness in the upper reaches of the Democratic National Committee.
Corporate media and corporate Democrats want the Bernie 2020 campaign -- and the grassroots energy behind it -- to melt away. That’s not going to happen.
Movements that have been propelling the Sanders campaign are here for the long haul -- as determined to keep fighting for social justice as top corporate executives are determined to keep collecting huge paychecks. (And that’s saying something.)
- The Democratic Party's officials are going to do everything they can, as they did four years ago, to block that independent vote. That vote is Sanders' vote. Those against Sanders in the Democratic leadership are also going to do what they can to reduce the Hispanic vote. It's strange to me that we always talk about Biden and the black vote. What's not talked about is that Sanders really owns the Hispanic vote, and in California that's decisive. They're doing everything they can to block Hispanic voters, young voters and independent voters who support Bernie Sanders.
- The media largely have portrayed the dynamic... as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) rises, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) must fall... If you’re scouring campaign white papers you’re going to have trouble clearly laying out the difference between these two candidates, except by matters of degree. One is all in on “Medicare for all” and the other is all in on universal coverage, with Medicare for all as one of a range of good options. One wants to cancel all student debt; the other wants to cancel most student debt. You’ve got to look bigger-picture at their fundamental approach to politics and philosophy of political change. To state it simply: Sanders is a revolutionary and Warren is a reformer... Warren has been unequivocal that she is a capitalist and believes in markets. She identifies this as the most significant ideological split between her and Sanders.
- Sanders’ message of political revolution lands with a thud among those who are comfortable. Warren, Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and “not sure” all outperform Sanders among those earning more than $100,000... It makes sense, though, that those who have struggled the most under our system would be the most receptive to revolutionary change. Why maintain the rules of the current order when those rules have made your life a struggle?
- Krystal Ball inWarren the reformer v. Sanders the revolutionary, The Hill, (27 June 2019)
- The one overlap between Sanders and Warren is their relative appeal to young people. This stands in contrast to Biden, for whom the greatest predictor of support is age. The older you are, the more likely you are to be ridin’ with Biden. This suggests that the progressive tussle between Warren and Sanders is about more than a competition for Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) endorsement; it’s really about the future of the party... Already, progressives are setting the pace for new and popular policy ideas. Reformer, or revolutionary? The policies may be similar, but the results could be dramatically different.
- Krystal Ball inWarren the reformer v. Sanders the revolutionary, The Hill, (27 June 2019)
- Eliminates tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities and makes community college tuition- and fee-free for all.
- Cancels $1.6 trillion in student debt for 45 million Americans
- Ensures students can attend college debt free
- Ensures students can attend college debt free
- Eliminates or reduces tuition and fees for low-income students at private colleges and universities that serve historically underrepresented minorities
- Provides funding to eliminate equity gaps in higher education attainment
- Paid for by a tax on Wall Street speculation
- The estimated $2.2 trillion cost of this bill would be paid for by a tax on Wall Street speculation. During the financial crisis, Wall Street received the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the United States. Now, it’s Wall Street’s turn to help rebuild the disappearing middle class. By imposing a small Wall Street speculation tax of just 0.5 percent on stock trades (that’s just 50 cents for every $100 worth of stock), a 0.1 percent fee on bonds, and a 0.005 percent fee on derivatives, we would raise up to $2.4 trillion over the next decade. More than 1,000 economists have endorsed a tax on Wall Street speculation and some 40 countries have already imposed a similar financial transactions tax, including Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Brazil.
- Well, I think I should say before I say that, my understanding is that Senator Sanders now supports H.R. 40. I think that’s where we are now. So I’m obviously pretty pleased about that.... I think all of the things that Bernie Sanders... listed about paying attention to distressed communities should be done. And we should also have reparations. So, I don’t see those two things as in conflict... In fact, it was never clear to me why both can’t be on the agenda, why one can’t associate themselves with the massive gaps in the wealth, that don’t just exist in the African-American community, but exist in communities across the country, and at the same time recognize that there’s something specific about the gap in the African-American community that’s tied to the specificity of American history. But, you know, as I said, I’m happy Senator Sanders now supports H.R. 40.
You know, Joe Biden says that he’s been involved with civil rights his entire career. It’s worth remembering Joe Biden opposed busing and bragged about it, you know, in the 1970s. Joe Biden is on the record as being to the right of actually the New Democrats in the 1990s on the issue of mass incarceration, wanted more people sentenced to the death penalty, wanted more jails. And so, you know, I’m not surprised. I mean, this is who Joe Biden is.
- According to reports, Warren and Sanders are the only Democrats who aren’t meeting with Wall Street big wigs... They aren’t okay with bankers gambling away mom and pop pensions, and they aren’t okay with the Democratic Party being owned by the big banks, and that is a message that the American public desperately needs to hear.
- We see...Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and AOC ... they’re all out there saying, look, we need to do something about corporate greed... the way that they were involved with loans... Over the most of the 20th century... you had caps... And then all of a sudden there was deregulation. And when deregulation took place, all of this bad stuff started occurring. You know, Wall Street stole from mom and pop. The economy crashed.
- Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders just put postal banking back where it belongs: high on the agenda of those who seek to create a just and equitable United States. On Thursday, the pair drew national attention with the announcement of their Loan Shark Prevention Act, a sweeping plan to “combat the predatory lending practices of America’s big banks and protect consumers who are burdened with exorbitant credit-card interest rates. The legislation imposes a 15 percent federal cap on interest rates and empowers individual states to establish lower limits.” ...modern-day loan sharks... work on Wall Street, where they make hundreds of millions...and head financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America...
Despite what the knee-jerk anti-government echo chamber may tell you, what Americans need now is banking that serves people, not the Wall Street speculators. American Postal Workers Union president Mark Dimondstein...says that the USPS can and should answer the call with “a nonprofit alternative to the big banks”...
- Most Americans think that regardless of who your parents are, you should have the right to a quality higher education. To this day, most Democrat politicians disagree...their political icons intone that “there’s not anything free in America.”...Sanders has always argued that quality higher education should be a right, not just for those whose parents have buildings named after them or can doctor a water polo picture.
- Common Dreams, Bernie Sanders and the Song of America, Thomas J. Adams, (25 April 2019)
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he thinks everyone should have the right to vote – even the Boston Marathon bomber. Asked at a CNN town hall Monday night if he thought felons should be allowed to vote – even while they're incarcerated, not just after they're release – Sanders said the country needs more people to vote.
- “Sanders says the right to vote should be extended 'even for terrible people' like Boston Marathon bomber”, Veronica Rocha, CNN, speech at CNN Town Hall, Manchester, NH (22 April 2019)
- Days after Sen. Bernie Sanders's town hall hosted by Fox News revealed that many Fox viewers would support his Medicare for All plan, President Donald Trump's appointee in charge of Medicare appeared on the network in an apparent attempt at damage control. Seema Verma, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, appeared on "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday to claim that Sanders's proposal would deliver worse health outcomes for Americans at a higher price than the current for-profit system—contrary to a number of studies from across the political spectrum. Media Matters labeled Verma's interview an intentional "smear" of the Vermont Independent senator's appearance and proposal.
- Common Dreams, [https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/17/just-after-sanders-revealed-fox-viewers-approval-medicare-all-trumps-medicare-chief Just After Sanders Revealed Fox Viewers' Approval of Medicare for All, Trump's Medicare Chief 'Smears' Program on Network, Julia Conley, (17 April 2019)
- Senator Sanders has the best voting record of any candidate on war and peace issues, especially on military spending. Opposing the oversized Pentagon budget, he has only voted for 3 out of 19 military spending bills since 2013. By this measure, no other candidate comes close, including Tulsi Gabbard. In other votes on war and peace, Sanders voted as requested by Peace Action 84% of the time from 2011 to 2016, despite some hawkish votes on Iran from 2011-2013.
In terms of stopping the war in Yemen, Sanders has been a hero. Over the past year, he and Senators Murphy and Lee have led a sustained effort to shepherd his historic War Powers bill on Yemen through the Senate. Congressman Ro Khanna, whom Sanders has chosen as one of his 4 campaign co-chairs, has led the parallel effort in the House.
- Medea Benjamin & Nicolas J S Davies War and Peace and the 2020 Presidential Candidates, Common Dreams (27 March 2019)
- Senate Democrats say they’re open to getting behind Sanders if he appears the strongest candidate a year from now. And there’s no whiff of an effort to deny him the nomination, according to interviews with more than 20 Democratic senators. It's not that the Democratic Caucus is rallying behind him; most of its members would prefer a more mainstream nominee, even if they're unwilling to say it at this point. But they're giving Sanders props for what he's accomplished and say if he's able to win the nomination, more power to him.
- Well, as you know, I was blessed to do over a hundred events for my dear brother [Bernie Sanders]. And this is the first time I’ve had a chance to publicly endorse him again, but yes, indeed. I’ll be in his corner that we’re going to win this time. And it has to do with the Martin Luther King like criteria of assessing a candidate namely the issues of militarism, poverty, materialism, and racism, xenophobia in all of its forms that includes any kind of racism as you know against black people, brown people, yellow people, anybody, Arabs, Muslims, Jews, Palestinians, Kashmirians, Tibetans and so forth. So that there’s no doubt that the my dear brother Bernie stands shoulders above any of the other candidates running in the Democratic primary when it comes to that Martin Luther King-like standards or criteria.
- He’s an anti-racist in his heart. Two, he’s old-school. He’s like me. He doesn’t know the buzzwords. He doesn’t endorse reparations, one moment in the last 30 years, silent on it. He has the consistency over the years decade after decade and therefore it’s true in his language, in his rhetoric. There are times in which he doesn’t... use the same kind of buzzwords. But when it comes to his fight against racism, going to jail in Chicago as a younger brother and he would go to jail again. He and I would go to jail together again in terms of fighting against police brutality. So in that sense, I would just tell my brothers and sisters, but especially my chocolate ones that they shouldn’t be blinded by certain kinds of words they’re looking for, that in the end, he is a long distance runner in the struggle against white supremacy.
- While the New York Times has been sandbagging Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ind.–Vermont) for years (Rolling Stone, 3/15/16), last weekend’s headline: “Bernie Sanders Is Making Changes for 2020..." (3/1/19) is a particularly overt example...
Unless one reads past the headline, which most Americans don’t, one is left wondering about what exactly Sanders desires to “control.”
- Is it the country? The media? When one actually digs into the Times’ article, written by Sydney Ember and Jonathan Martin, one quickly discovers that what Sanders desires to control is his own campaign, and that his oppressed victims were his highly paid media consultants, who quit because Sanders was “not willing to empower them.”
- Left unreported by the Times were statements by the consultants themselves (CNBC, 2/26/19) claiming that they were leaving on a “very positive note” over “differences in a creative vision,” and that they would be happy to assist his campaign again in the future. In the Times version, instead, we’re given anonymous sources described as “Democrats directly familiar with the episode” who give the impression the consultants were “enraged” over their “humiliation.”
- Joshua Cho in NYT’s ‘Desire for Control’ Over Political Perceptions, FAIR (6 March 2019)
- Some people are attached to the idea that the Democratic National Committee will “rig” the presidential nomination against Bernie Sanders. The meme encourages the belief that the Bernie 2020 campaign is futile because of powerful corporate Democrats. But such fatalism should be discarded. As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Of course top Democratic Party officials don’t intend to give up control. It has to be taken from them. And the conditions for doing that are now more favorable than ever... progressives have organized effectively during the last two years...
- Norman Solomon, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/03/04/big-obstacle-bernie-isnt-dnc-rigging-its-media-trashing The Big Obstacle for Bernie Isn't DNC "Rigging"—It's Media Trashing, Common Dreams] (4 March 2019)
- Days ago, when Bernie Sanders launched his campaign with a big rally in Brooklyn, the MSNBC coverage was so slanted that an assessment from Glenn Greenwald appeared under the headline “MSNBC Yet Again Broadcasts Blatant Lies, This Time About Bernie Sanders...” Greenwald’s critique of MSNBC [below] focused on flagrantly inaccurate anti-Sanders commentary from a former Hillary Clinton aide that immediately followed the senator’s Brooklyn speech... The coverage prompted an email from FAIR founder (and my colleague) Jeff Cohen to an MSNBC vice president: “You have no trouble finding hardcore Clintonite Bernie-bashers; please offer some balance in your analysts. In today’s Democratic Party, there’s clearly more sympathy for Bernie than the Clintons—but not on MSNBC.”
It’s worth noting that the (Washington) Post is owned by the world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, while MSNBC is owned by Comcast, “the world’s largest entertainment company.”
To counteract the media propaganda arsenal now in place, we should fully recognize that arsenal as the main weaponry that corporate power will deploy against the Bernie 2020 campaign. We must confront those corporate media forces while vastly strengthening independent progressive media work of all kinds.
- Norman Solomon, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/03/04/big-obstacle-bernie-isnt-dnc-rigging-its-media-trashing The Big Obstacle for Bernie Isn't DNC "Rigging"—It's Media Trashing, Common Dreams] (4 March 2019)
- MSNBC... systematically and deliberately refuses to adopt a defining attribute of a news outlet: a willingness to acknowledge factual errors, correct them, and apologize. That they not only allow their lies to stand uncorrected but reward their employees who do it most frequently — especially when those lies are directed at adversaries of the Democratic Party — proves that they are, first and foremost, a political arm of the Democratic establishment... On Saturday in Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders delivered his first speech for his 2020 presidential campaign in front of thousands of people. MSNBC broadcast the speech live, and anyone can watch the full two-hour event, or just Sanders’s full 35-minute speech, on YouTube. As a result, there’s no confusion possible about what was said. Everyone can see it with their own eyes... As I’ve repeatedly documented, lying about adversaries of the Democratic establishment is not merely tolerated or permitted at MSNBC, but is encouraged and rewarded... They purposely had the very first person to comment on Sanders’s kickoff campaign speech be a paid Clinton 2016 campaign official highly embittered toward Sanders...
- The ferocity of media attacks on him often indicates that corporate power brokers are afraid his strong progressive populism is giving effective voice to majority views of the public... The overarching fear that defenders of oligarchy have about Bernie Sanders is not that he’s out of step with most Americans — it’s that he’s in step with them. For corporate elites determined to retain undemocratic power, a successful Bernie 2020 campaign would be the worst possible outcome of the election.
- Norman Solomon in Bernie 2020 Campaign Has Corporate Democrats Running Scared, CounterPunch (14 February 2019)
- Trump would have us believe that these are our only two choices: We can either have smash-and-grab capitalism, where so many hands in the cookie jar has resulted in so many government scandals, and where the top 1 percent have more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, or we can have what’s happening in Venezuela, where the economy has collapsed and humanitarian and political crises have ensued...
- Trump’s dig on socialism means he’s scared, Ocasio-Cortez said after his speech. What really scares the pro-plutocrats on both sides of the political aisle about her, [Bernie] Sanders and other democratic socialists is that they have become messengers for a compelling message with an actual vision — the simple idea that it’s up to government to intervene and equalize the playing field between the capital that owns the politicians, the system and the rewards, and the general public toiling to provide those rewards.
- Sanders' new 'For the 99.8% Act' is squarely aimed at preventing the children of today's billionaires from dominating our future democracy, economy, culture and philanthropy.... The Republicans can’t control their baser greed impulse, as revealed in their latest move to abolish the federal estate tax, our nation’s only levy on the inherited wealth of the super-rich. Congress should jump on board an improved estate tax introduced today by Senator Bernie Sanders, that would levy a top rate of 77 percent on inheritances over $1 billion. Sanders bill, The For 99.8% Act (summary), would also plug up loopholes and ban trusts that wealthy families use to hide and perpetuate wealth dynasties
- The estate tax, established by Congress a century ago to put a brake on the build-up of concentrated wealth and power, is paid only by a miniscule sliver of billionaires and multi-millionaires. At the time, Theodore Roosevelt supported the estate tax as a protection against the “tyranny of plutocracy.” Sanders estate tax proposal is a plutocracy prevention act, squarely aimed at preventing the children of today’s billionaires from dominating our future democracy, economy, culture and philanthropy.
- Sen. Bernie Sanders is introducing a bill to increase the estate tax on the nation's billionaires to a rate of 77 percent. Sanders would like to get back there: Under his plan, estates between $3.5 million and $10 million would be taxed at 45 percent; estates between $10 million and $50 million would be taxed at 50 percent; and estates between $50 million and $1 billion would be taxed at 55 percent. Estates of people with more than a billion dollars to their name would be taxed at 77 percent. Sanders said the bill would affect the richest 0.2 percent of earners. Sanders’ proposal also would get rid of some of the tax shelters and dodges that the wealthy use to get out of paying the estate tax. That move echoes policy proposals from Warren and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Each has included reforms to estate tax loopholes as funding mechanisms for other legislative proposals. Sanders said his act already has the approval of economists including Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Robert Reich.
- If Bernie Sanders had an ounce of [Michael] Avenatti’s fearlessness, he would’ve been the Democratic nominee, and we would have had a much tougher time beating him. Now, I don’t believe a professional politician is going to be there at the end of the day. I’ve always said it’s going to be someone like Oprah, or Avenatti, or somebody that’s more media-savvy that’s going to be there.
- Steve Bannon (in an interview with Bill Maher) as quoted by Langois, Shawn (30 September 2018). "Michael Avenatti, a legitimate candidate in 2020? Steve Bannon seems to think so". MarketWatch. Retrieved on 30 September 2018.
- It's very likely Hillary Clinton will still prevail in the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders, though, has had a remarkable showing, particularly among young people.
- Jimmy Carter to the House of Lords, when asked about the 2016 United States presidential election. As quoted in Jimmy Carter: I would choose Donald Trump over Ted Cruz (February 3, 2016) by Stephanie Condon, CBS News
- Well, Bernie Sanders is an extremely interesting phenomenon. He’s a decent, honest person. That’s pretty unusual in the political system. Maybe there are two of them in the world, you know. But he’s considered radical and extremist, which is a pretty interesting characterization, because he’s basically a mainstream New Deal Democrat. His positions would not have surprised President Eisenhower, who said, in fact, that anyone who does not accept New Deal programs doesn’t belong in the American political system. That’s now considered very radical.
- Sanders ... has mobilized a large number of young people, these young people who are saying, "Look, we're not going to consent anymore." And if that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized force, that could change the country.
- Sanders’ modus operandi and avowed lack of experience in the real world of profits, loss, and investment leaves him at something of a loss when it comes to talking about the economy. His plans for everything from reforming health care to boosting economic growth and providing free college tend to have an air of unreality about them. As a result, mainstream economists and business leaders aren’t feeling the Bern.
- Daniel Gross (28 February 2016) How Bernie Sanders, the Socialist, Quietly Entered the Top 4% of Earners, Fortune.com
- Bernie Sanders, who at least acknowledges our economic reality and refuses to accept corporate money for his presidential campaign, plays the role of the Democratic Party’s court jester. No doubt to remain a member of the court, he will not condemn the perfidy and collaboration with corporate power that define Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party. He accepts that criticism of empire is taboo.
- He continues, even as the party elites rig the primaries against him, to make a mockery of democratic participation, to hold up the Democrats as a tool for change. He will soon be urging his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton, actively working as an impediment to political mobilization and an advocate for political lethargy. Sanders, whose promise of a political revolution is as hollow as competing campaign slogans, will be rewarded for his duplicity. He will be allowed to keep his seniority in the Democratic caucus. The party will not mount a campaign in Vermont to unseat him from the U.S. Senate. He will not, as he has feared, end up a pariah like Ralph Nader. But he, like everyone else in the establishment, will have sold us out.
- Markets are unsettled because of geopolitical risks, the slowdown in China, and because Bernie Sanders has become a viable candidate.
- Bernie Sanders [is] doing good and courageous things. He’s organizing a lot of people. That campaign ought to be directed to sustaining a popular movement that will use the election as a kind of an incentive and then go on, and unfortunately it’s not. When the election’s over, the movement is going to die. And that’s a serious error. ... The only thing that’s going to ever bring about any meaningful change is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don’t pay attention to the election cycle.
- Bernie Sanders, a self-professed socialist who is almost as extreme in his own way as Trump is. I don't “feel the Bern” and I can't make common cause with those who do.
- I have been a conservative Republican my entire life. But the Republican Party as a whole has gotten so far out of touch with the American people. I switched my registration so that I could vote for Sanders in the primary, but the day the primary is over I'm going to register as an independent.
- Bryan Brown, as quoted in "The Lifelong Republicans Who Love Bernie Sanders: Some conservatives are defying expectation and backing the Vermont senator" (November 2015), by Clare Foran, The Atlantic
- I hope Bernie Sanders is the destruction of the Democratic Party. It's time to break up the two party dictatorship.
- Jesse Ventura on CNN with Don Lemon, as quoted in Chris Enloe (7 October 2015), "Jesse Ventura Wants to Destroy the Political Establishment and He's Named Two Guys to Do It", IJ Review
- If Bernie Sanders wins he'll be the first socialist elected president since 2008.