Even while he is adamant that he will forge ahead in his presidential campaign despite increasingly narrow odds to win the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders signaled today he visualizes defeat. Even so, the Vermont socialist sketched out today what it will take for Hillary Clinton to earn his support against her eventual Republican opponent after her presumptive nomination victory this summer. Speaking on ABC’s This Week, Sanders said “That is totally dependent on what the Clinton platform is and how she responds to the needs of millions of Americans who are sick and tired of establishment politics and establishment economics.”
Sanders said he would “do everything that I can to make sure that somebody like a Donald Trump or some other right-wing Republican does not become president of the United States.”
Anticipating that Clinton will indeed become the Democratic nominee, Sanders said “she is going to have to make the case to the American people, not just to my supporters, but all Americans, that she is prepared to stand up to the billionaire class, she is prepared to fight for health care for all Americans, that she is prepared to pass paid family and medical leave, make sure that college is affordable for the young people in this country. That is what she has got to do. And I hope, if she is the nominee, that she does that well.”
Elsewhere during the Sunday shows, John Dickerson of CBS’s Face the Nation asked Sanders whether he would want Clinton to fully embrace a $15 national minimum wage, reinstate Glass-Steagall, and oppose natural-gas fracking. In response, Sanders chuckled and said “John, that was a very good start. You're doing well. Keep going.” The 74-year-old Sanders then called for a party platform that provides a “Medicare-for-all health care program” and tuition-free education at public colleges and universities. “I hope that if I do not win the nomination, that that will be part of Clinton's agenda,” Sanders said.
Despite winning more than a dozen states, Sanders faces steep odds in winning enough convention delegates in order to catch up to Clinton. The Clinton campaign and party insiders are asking if it would not be better for party unity if he were to strike his colors and join with Clinton now rather than continue with his increasingly shrill attacks. On April 26, five states go to vote in primary races where Clinton is heavily favored.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.