Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke for America when he gave up on the CNN Republican debate and pronounced the entire event, “sad.”
Here are some of Sen. Sanders best moments live tweeting the debate, according to his campaign:
“Rich get richer. Median family income $5k less than in 1999. One of the highest rates of childhood poverty. Any discussion?” he asked as the debate droned on. “Have you heard anyone use the word poverty yet? 47.7 million Americans living in poverty. No discussion.” Still later he tweeted: “Waiting, waiting, waiting. Will we hear anything about racial justice, income inequality or making college affordable?”
Nearly two hours into the debate, the conversation briefly turned to an important issue: raising the $7.25 hourly minimum wage. “The American people overwhelmingly want to raise the minimum wage. Too bad the Republicans don’t,” Sanders tweeted. He has introduced legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.
During a back-and-forth on foreign policy, Sanders asked, “Gee. How come these guys are not talking about the great ‘success’ of Bush’s foreign policy and the war in Iraq?” A few minutes later he wondered, “Can these guys talk about anything other than their desire to go to war?” During a discussion about a proposed deal to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Sanders wrote, “War, war, war. When do we get to their other major priority: tax breaks for billionaires?”
Missing from the exchanges was perhaps the greatest international crisis facing the planet. “Will they talk about climate change as a foreign policy issue? Or talk about it at all?” They finally did. It turned out that not one of them believes that the United States government should lead the world in combating climate change and transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels.
On domestic issues, Republicans wanted to take away health care for women and marriage rights from gays.
The candidates were asked about a Kentucky county clerk defying a court order and refusing to issue marriage licenses to gays. “Does anybody on the stage believe that our gay brothers and sisters have the same rights as the rest of us?” Sanders wondered. “Anybody?”
The Republicans also called for defunding Planned Parenthood. “Does anyone on that stage believe the women of this country have the right to control their own bodies? Anyone?” Sanders asked.
Some of Sanders’ most popular tweets were about Republican front-runner Donald Trump. “Trump: ‘I will take care of women.’ Really? What about respecting the right of women to control their own bodies?” Sanders said. As the front-runner smirked and ridiculed his challengers, Sanders said of Trump: “What a pleasant and humble person. Can’t stop saying kind and generous things about his fellow Republicans.”
After two and half hours, even Bernie Sanders couldn’t take any more. Sen. Sanders summed up the night with a Facebook post, “The evening was really pretty sad. This country and our planet face enormous problems. And the Republican candidates barely touched upon them tonight. And when they did, they were dead wrong on virtually every position they took. The Republican Party cannot be allowed to lead this country. That’s why we need a political revolution.”
The evening was sad, but it was also a huge win for Bernie Sanders. When Republicans discuss their agenda, it benefits Democrats. Extremism was on parade during both Republican debates on CNN. The American people, or at least those who made it through the whole 5 hour plus slog, got to see what Republicans are up to.
The Republican candidates promoted the virtues of George W. Bush. They talked up the bogus Planned Parenthood videos, dismissed doing anything about climate change, debated the merits of vaccines, told America that Kim Davis was just like MLK, ignored the middle-class, except to say that working people are struggling and embraced a flat tax that would give more to rich and harm everyone else.
The debate was a disaster for Republicans, but it was a goldmine for candidates with a real agenda to help the American people, like Bernie Sanders.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association