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Bernie Sanders rips Donald Trump over Tulsa rally

MONTCLAIR, N.J. — Former presidential contender Bernie Sanders on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump’s decision to host a large rally in Oklahoma this weekend, accusing the Republican president of jeopardizing the health of thousands of people and defying science during a pandemic simply “to hear cheers from his supporters.” Sanders, who is also known for…

Bernie Sanders rips Donald Trump over Tulsa rally

MONTCLAIR, N.J. — Former presidential contender Bernie Sanders on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump’s decision to host a large rally in Oklahoma this weekend, accusing the Republican president of jeopardizing the health of thousands of people and defying science during a pandemic simply “to hear cheers from his supporters.”

Sanders, who is also known for drawing large crowds and has promised to help presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, said he would not be willing to host any large indoor events of his own until medical professionals deem it safe.

“I find it literally incomprehensible that the president, who is an extraordinary narcissist, is willing to sacrifice the health not only of the people who attend his indoor rally, but those people who come into contact with the people who attend the indoor rally,” Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“You have public officials in Oklahoma begging him not to do this rally. It is in defiance of what science is telling us is appropriate. And the leader of the United States government is defying science in order to hear cheers from his supporters,” Sanders added. “It is incredibly irresponsible.”

Trump is scheduled to host his first major campaign rally in months this Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is among the many states that have seen coronavirus infections rise since May when governors began loosening social-distancing orders. The four-day average number of new cases in Tulsa has doubled from the previous peak in April. The city’s own health department director, Dr. Bruce Dart, has said he hopes the rally will be postponed, noting that large indoor gatherings are partially to blame for the recent spread.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, said he’s asked the Trump campaign to consider a larger, outdoor venue to help accommodate a bigger crowd.

Trump spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday that the rally would go on.

“As in any event you assume a personal risk. That is just what you do. When you go to a baseball game, you assume a risk. That’s part of life. It’s a personal decision of Americans as to whether to go to the rally or whether not to go to the rally,” McEnany said, noting that the campaign is taking precautions by providing masks and hand sanitizer to rally attendees.

The Trump campaign has attacked Biden for not hosting more public events as the pandemic continues. Trump’s Democratic opponent has hosted a handful of small events in recent weeks, but he has spent much of the pandemic speaking to supporters in virtual events from a make-shift studio in his Delaware home.

Sanders is eventually expected to participate in rallies to help energize skeptical progressives before the November election, but he’s not eager to do so yet.

“Right now at this moment we’re seeing an increase in cases in some 20-plus states around the country, so I would think you’d want to, before you did anything, you would be wanting to listen to the doctors and the scientists,” he said. “It’s hard for me to imagine anybody holding rallies indoors.”

• AP writer Kevin Freking in Washington contributed.

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Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

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Bernie Sanders warns: Biden win ‘no slam dunk’

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders is warning that if onetime rival Joe Biden doesn’t do more to promote his policies and reach out to Latino voters, the Democratic presidential nominee is at risk of falling short to President Donald Trump this November. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who left the primary race in the spring and…

Bernie Sanders warns: Biden win ‘no slam dunk’

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders is warning that if onetime rival Joe Biden doesn’t do more to promote his policies and reach out to Latino voters, the Democratic presidential nominee is at risk of falling short to President Donald Trump this November.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who left the primary race in the spring and has worked to shift Biden to the left on key issues, has made the warnings in public and private in recent days. Most recently, he went on MSNBC on Sunday to express concerns that Biden wasn’t speaking up enough about his economic proposals.

“I think Biden’s in an excellent position to win this election, but I think we have got to do more as a campaign than just go after Trump,” he said. “We also have to give people a reason to vote for Joe Biden. And Joe has some pretty strong positions on the economy, and I think we should be talking about that more than we have.”

In a Friday interview with PBS, Sanders was more blunt: “Am I here to tell you absolutely, this is a slam dunk, no chance that he will lose? That is not what I’m saying,” the Vermont senator said.

His comments follow a week when Biden campaigned with union workers in Michigan and released a tax plan focused on boosting U.S. manufacturing by punishing businesses that take jobs overseas. Biden also emphasized his economic agenda and attacked Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic while the former vice president spent Labor Day with union workers in Pennsylvania.

Sanders used his MSNBC appearance to urge Biden to speak more about some of his kitchen-table economic policies: raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, lowering prescription drug costs and expanding health insurance coverage.

Sanders said Biden’s policies are “a compromise” but that they were “pretty strong, progressive policies.”

He also encouraged Biden to focus more on Latino and young voters, groups that broadly supported Sanders during the primary. Biden has struggled to build enthusiasm among young voters, and some Democrats have expressed concerns about what they see as the campaign’s lack of outreach to Latino voters, which Sanders echoed on MSNBC.

“We got to reach out to the Latino community. You know, a lot of young people, you’ve got a lot of Latinos, African Americans who may not vote. They’re not gonna for Donald Trump, that’s for sure, but they may not vote at all,” Sanders said. “How do we bring them into the political process? How do we get them to vote?”

A Biden campaign adviser, Symone Sanders, was asked Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” whether the campaign would take Sanders’ advice.

“We know that we have work to do. And we have said from the beginning, and Vice President Biden has been very clear about this … that we are really working to earn every single vote in this country. And we want to earn the votes of the Latino and Hispanic community,” she said.

Sanders has campaigned for Biden, holding virtual rallies in seven states, including one this weekend in Michigan. It’s one of three states where Sanders warned Democrats should be “nervous” about their chances, along with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“The enthusiasm is with Trump, not with Biden,” Sanders said.

In 2016, Trump’s unexpected victories n those three Rust Belt states, bolstered in part by his support among white working class voters, helped deliver him the White House. The Biden campaign has focused much of its early efforts on those three states, with Biden and running mate Kamala Harris visiting all three in recent weeks.

While Sanders made his concerns public in recent interviews, he also has expressed them in private to the Biden campaign, according to Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ former presidential campaign manager.

“He has been in direct contact with the Biden team and has urged them to put more emphasis on how they will raise wages, create millions of good paying jobs, lower the cost of prescription drugs and expand health care coverage,” Shakir said.

Shakir said Sanders “also thinks that a stronger outreach to young people, the Latino community and the progressive movement will be of real help to the campaign.”

Biden has adopted some of Sanders’ more liberal proposals, but the Democratic nominee has been careful to avoid some of progressives’ more contentious policy priorities, such as defunding the police and adopting a fully government-run healthcare system. His commitment to a more centrist campaign has frustrated some progressives, who warn that Biden’s careful campaign could turn off young and minority voters.

But Sanders expressed confidence that those in the progressive movement who may be disappointed by Biden’s policies would still be motivated by a desire to win the White House.

“I would hope that, while people will have strong disagreements with Biden – I do – for the moment, put that aside,” Sanders said on PBS. “That’s what, in a sense, coalition politics is about: You come together for a common goal. The goal is to defeat Trump.”

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Bernie Sanders wants ‘serious debate’ with Biden after teaming up on the election

Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday he plans to bring back robust policy debate with Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, after the election, but stressed the importance of “coalition politics.” As a self-described democratic socialist, Mr. Sanders said he obviously disagrees with Mr. Biden on a number of issues, but that the Democratic Party needs…

Bernie Sanders wants ‘serious debate’ with Biden after teaming up on the election

Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday he plans to bring back robust policy debate with Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, after the election, but stressed the importance of “coalition politics.”

As a self-described democratic socialist, Mr. Sanders said he obviously disagrees with Mr. Biden on a number of issues, but that the Democratic Party needs to unite ahead of the November election.

The Vermont independent even extended that call for unity to Republicans like former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who endorsed Mr. Biden at the Democratic National Convention this week.

“We’re going to come together to defeat Trump,” Mr. Sanders told “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah. “And the day after Biden is elected, we’re going to have a serious debate about the future of this country, but it will be done within the framework of a democratic society.”

“What you’re seeing now is what I would call a united front of people of many different points of view,” he added. “So this is what coalition politics is about.”

Some progressives were frustrated that Republicans got so much time to participate in the DNC convention, feeling like some of their liberal voices weren’t given the same amount of time.

Mr. Sanders was Mr. Biden’s closest competition in the Democratic presidential primary, though he suspended his campaign in April. However, he had collected enough delegate votes to be formally nominated at the convention.

Part of the GOP’s strategy has been to link Mr. Biden to Mr. Sanders, framing their connection as the nominee’s embrace of the “radical left.”

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Bernie Sanders warns DNC: ‘The price of failure is just too great to imagine’

Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont warned his supporters Monday that President Trump will erase the gains his political revolution has made over the course of the last six years. In a virtual address to the Democratic National Convention, Mr. Sanders thanked his followers for pushing the nation in a “bold new direction,” and said the…

Bernie Sanders warns DNC: ‘The price of failure is just too great to imagine’

Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont warned his supporters Monday that President Trump will erase the gains his political revolution has made over the course of the last six years.

In a virtual address to the Democratic National Convention, Mr. Sanders thanked his followers for pushing the nation in a “bold new direction,” and said the stakes are too high this election not get behind presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden.

“Let us be clear: if Donald Trump is re-elected all the progress we have made will be in jeopardy,” Mr. Sanders said.

“We must come together to defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next president and vice president,” he said. “My friends, the price of failure is just too great to imagine.”

Mr. Sanders has arguably done more than anyone else to push the Democratic party in a more liberal direction over the course of his back-to-back bids for president.

Mr. Sanders said working families have suffered and said “together we must build a nation that is more equitable, more compassionate and more inclusive.”

“I know that Joe Biden will begin that fight on Day One,” he said.

He cited Mr. Biden’s support for a $15 minimum wage, expanding pre-kindergarten and transition the nation to 100% clean electricity over the next 15 years.

Mr. Sanders said he disagrees with Mr. Biden’s overall health care views, but said that his approach will expand access to coverage and cut the cost of prescription drugs.

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