Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is offering Trump no congratulations and made it clear that progressive Democrats are ready for a fight.
In a statement, Sen. Sanders said:
Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics, and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer.
To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.
Some journalists are pointing to the first two sentences of the second paragraph of Sen. Sanders’ statement as proof of Sanders/Trump overlap. While I am sure that Bernie Sanders would work with nearly anyone to improve the lives of working families in this country, what is missing from his statement is nearly as important as what he said.
Sen. Sanders offered no congratulations to Trump. He didn’t vow to work with Trump. He did say that if Trump met progressives on their terms, they would work with them. He also explicitly vowed to oppose what amounts to Trump’s agenda.
Sen. Sanders is going to be no friend of Donald Trump’s. In fact, Sanders has cleverly shaped the parameters of the fight that is yet to come.