The first in the nation presidential primary will unfold this week in New Hampshire (Iowa held a caucus, which technically is not the same thing). Leading candidates in the Democratic presidential primary field include Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Indiana’s former mayor, Pete Buttigieg. This weekend during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Sanders made his own case for his candidacy with a focus on defeat of incumbent President Donald Trump, who he denounced as dangerous. No matter where the Democratic presidential primary goes from here, Trump can rest assured that Democrats are coming for the White House.
Sanders denounced Trump after host Jake Tapper asked him about recent criticism from Hillary Clinton, who’s recently resorted to criticizing the Vermont Senator, who she faced in an election contest some four years ago. Sanders didn’t take the bait seeking a 2016 rehash, but instead, he insisted:
‘I think we have got to unite the Democratic Party to defeat the most dangerous president in modern American history, and I’m not going to revisit 2016. But in terms of our agenda, it is the agenda of what working people want. In terms of healthcare, we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people, and we’re spending twice as much per capita. Does that make sense to anybody?’
Bernie Sanders responds to Hillary Clinton criticism: "We have got to unite the Democratic Party to defeat the most dangerous president in modern American history… I'm not going to revisit 2016, but in terms of our agenda, it is the agenda of what working people want" #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/hhNUbcSAyS
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 9, 2020
These policy proposals put Sanders in direct opposition to Donald Trump. The current president claims, for instance, that he will protect health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions — but in reality, right now his administration is arguing in court that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) should be completely thrown out, pre-existing conditions protections and all. They have no replacement plan ready to go.
Sanders went on from the above to continue to defend his plans for the U.S., which contrast starkly with the rich racists-centered policies from Trump.
Discussing universal healthcare, Sanders told Tapper:
‘If Canada can do it, if Europe can do it, the United States of America can do it. That is not a false promise. That is simply having the courage to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry that in some cases charges us ten times more for the same drugs they sell in Canada.’
That stands in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s own behavior. Current Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar used to be an executive at big pharma company Eli Lilly. The Food and Drug Administration’s chief of staff Keagan Resler Lenihan, worked as a lead lobbyist for the big pharma company McKesson from 2011 through 2016. The so-called Domestic Policy Council’s director is a man named Joe Grogan — who, like those others, served for years as a top earner in big pharma. He worked from 2011 through 2017 as a lobbyist for the pharma company Gilead Sciences.
Sanders is hoping to take this message against Trump in the general election.
On average, according to RealClearPolitics, Sanders leads Trump by an average of almost four percent in polls measuring hypothetical general election match-ups. One recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey had him ahead by four percent.