One-on-one with Senator Bernie Sanders

NOW: One-on-one with Senator Bernie Sanders

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) – The road to the White House goes through the Midwest and presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders believes his platform gives the Democratic Party its best chance to defeat President Trump in 2020. He sat down for a one-on-one interview with CBS 58 during his visit in Milwaukee.

Resurrecting the ‘Blue Wall’

In the 2016 presidential contest, then-candidate Donald Trump was able to secure victories in so-called “Blue Wall” states in the Midwest like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Political analysts agree that those three states are critical to winning the presidency. Sanders believes his message to voters on economic issues can win over voters in those states.

“The issues that we are fighting for are the issues that the working class of this country are concerned about,” Sanders said.

Sanders has had success in Wisconsin. He defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic Primary and in a Marquette University Law School poll released earlier this year, Sanders led all other democratic candidates.

Sanders added, “the issues that we are talking about are saying that we need a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just billionaires and wealthy campaign contributors. That’s the issue that’s going to win us this election.”

Sanders on immigration

Sen. Sanders spoke one-on-one with CBS 58 during his visit to Milwaukee where he participated in the LULAC National Convention. Sanders took part in a town hall event Thursday night. Immigration was a dominant issue throughout the convention and it is one where democratic candidates – like Sanders – marked sharp contrasts with President Donald Trump.

“Sadly, right now we have a president who is a racist and a bigot,” Sanders told CBS 58. “It gives me no satisfaction to say that but that is the fact. He is trying to demonize the undocumented people in the country. The truth is the American people do want comprehensive immigration reform,” Sanders said.

Comprehensive immigration reform is a goal that has been elusive for presidents of both parties in the past. The Vermont senator points to public support of policies like a path to citizenship or granting legal status for people in the DACA program as indicators that, if he were in the White House, could lead to the passage of reform of the current immigration system.

“If we had a president […] who implements what the American people want, I think we can make real progress.”

Sanders on health care

One issue where Sanders says he can appeal to not just democratic voters but republican ones as well is the cost of health care.

“We have got to stop the greed of the pharmaceutical industry,” Sanders said. “They’re charging the American people outrageous prices for the medicine they desperately need.”

Later this month, Sanders will lead a bus trip from Michigan into Canada with a group of type-1 diabetes patients to buy insulin. The point of the trip is to highlight the difference in prices for the same products bought in the U.S. and Canada.

“We’re going to be purchasing insulin in Canada at one-tenth the price that Americans are forced to pay,” Sanders said. He went on to say, “we have got to stop the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. They are charging the American people outrageous prices for the medicine they desperately need.”

Addressing the dairy crisis in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is known as the Dairy State, but in recent years has suffered the loss of hundreds of dairy farms due to a surplus in the supply of milk forcing prices to go down.

Sen. Sanders says the situation in Wisconsin is all too familiar.

“I come from a state like Wisconsin which is a heavy dairy state,” Sanders said. “I do know, personally, what is going on with family-owned dairy farms not only in Wisconsin but in Vermont and all over this country and they are hurting.”

In order to help those farmers, Sanders says the U.S. needs a different approach in trade.

“We need a trade policy that works for workers and family farmers and not just the CEOs of large corporations.”

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