We are a stronger candidate against Trump than Clinton is ‒ Sanders to RT (EXCLUSIVE)
The senator from Vermont sat down with RT America’s Ed Schultz to talk the all-important California primary ‒ set to dole out 475 delegates on June 7 ‒ as well as which Democratic superdelegates should switch from supporting Clinton to backing him.
Sanders also renewed his vow to take the fight for the party’s nomination all the way to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the end of July. He added that he has had to fight “in every single state the entire Democratic establishment.”
Ed Schultz: Senator, in every poll you beat Donald Trump far more than your opponent. Do you want the superdelegates to consider that?
Bernie Sanders: And I think they have to. Look, Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a whole lot of issues and people at the convention are going to disagree, but one thing we’re all united on, Trump would be a disaster for this country. He must not become president. And I ask those superdelegates, including many of them who came on board Clinton’s campaign before I was even on the race. Before the first ballot was cast, to do some hard thinking. Take a look at the polls, take a look at the nature of the campaigns. And I think if you do that, you’ll find that the energy, the enthusiasm, the voter turnout will be with us. We are the strongest campaign to defeat Hillary Clinton ‒ to defeat Donald Trump, and hopefully Hillary Clinton as well here, and if that’s the case, I would hope they support us.
Schultz: You won Minnesota. Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken are the senators in Minnesota, the superdelegates for Clinton. You want them to change?
Sanders: I do. In states where we have won landslide victories ‒ including Minnesota, Alaska, the state of Washington, New Hampshire ‒ these are not close races, I’m not talking about 2 points, I’m talking about winning by 20 or 30 points. I would hope that all of those superdelegates will respect the wishes of the people in that state. If we have won by a big margin, they should vote for Bernie Sanders.
Schultz: Mainstream media has a story out there that you are winding down because you are not going to be spending a lot of television in California. What about that?
Sanders: You know it is unbelievable ‒ I don’t have to tell you about the media.. Some guy asked me a question. We are actually in good financial shape. Truth is that the TV marketing in California is expensive so we have got to make a decision about what we want to do. Do we want to spend the money on the ground? We want to spend it on TV? Frankly that decision has not been made. But this is the media mythology that is out there. They’ve [been] trying to end my campaign from the day I began it. But we think we have a good shot of winning California. The last serious poll had us 2 points down. A lot of independents are thinking of voting for us. I think we can win California, we are going to put a lot of resources into it. Exactly where we are going to put it we don’t know yet. But we have the resources to run a winning campaign.
Schultz: Your reactions to [former Democratic Representative] Barney Frank being hired by the [Democratic National Committee] to run the convention. He’s been critical of your position on Wall Street.
Sanders: I would hope that the Democratic leadership is prepared to give important positions to people who have been neutral. There are a lot of good people out there who have not been hostile to my campaign. I mean what a message to send to millions of our supporters that we are going to stack the deck with people that have been hostile to the Sanders campaign. So I hope they reconsider that.
Schultz: If you win California, is that the game changer going into the convention?
Sanders: Well, here’s where we are: We’ve won in the last two weeks Indiana and West Virginia, a really good victory. We have Kentucky and Oregon this week; we hope we can win those states. But the big enchilada is June 7. We have six states, including California and New Jersey. If we can win California, we are going to be coming into that convention with a heck of a lot of momentum. And if the polls continue to show us that we are a stronger candidate against Trump than Clinton is, I would hope that a lot of people in that convention say Bernie Sanders should be the candidate.
Schultz: Finally, Senator, you are getting a lot of reactions to a comment you made in an interview about ‘don’t moan to me about Hillary Clinton’. It was almost as if you have been waiting to do that for a long time.
Sanders: You know, Ed, I have had to take on in every single state the entire Democratic establishment. Minnesota, you got the senators, the governors. You got almost all members of Congress. [Representative] Keith Ellison has been a great ally. But in state after state we are taking on all of the establishment and then you have somebody telling you about Hillary Clinton’s problem… give me a break. We have taken them all on. We have now gotten 44.5 percent of all delegates. So I would go right now in the next eight states to win as many of them as we can. Come into the convention as strong as we can and come out the Democratic nominee.
Schultz: Senator, thanks.