The morning after what many described as a solid debate performance, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders showed up on ABC’s This Week to discuss his campaign and the recent controversy surrounding data breaches. However, prior to talking about any of that, host George Stephanopoulos opened with a question about GOP Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. The celebrity billionaire was interviewed by Stephanopoulos just before Sanders’ appearance, and he labeled the Vermont Senator a liar.
Apparently, The Donald didn’t like that Bernie has accurately noted that Trump has called Mexicans rapists and criminals, and thought he could just say he was lying and that would be it. (Meanwhile, the ABC host pressed Trump on his countless falsehoods and his warm embrace of Vladimir Putin, leading to a contentious exchange.) In response to Stephanopoulos asking him his thoughts on Trump calling him out, Sanders straight up called the real estate mogul a “pathological liar.”
SANDERS: I tell you, it really is rather extraordinary. I think — and I say this straightforwardly — I think you have a pathological liar there.
SANDERS: Pathological, I really do. I mean, I think much of what he says are lies or gross distortion of reality. Here’s the fact. I mean, he’s been saying over and over again that he saw on television, as I understand it, thousands of people in New Jersey celebrating 9/11 right the destruction of the Twin Towers.
Either that’s true or it’s not true. And what I understand, there have been a lot of research, they archive what goes on television. You’re a TV guy, right? Everything was saying that was going to be archived.
Either it is true, it is not true. Nobody has seen a tape of thousands of people celebrating the destruction of the Twin Towers in New Jersey. It doesn’t exist. And he keeps claiming it. That’s called pathological lying.
Yes, he just (INAUDIBLE) a few moments ago accused me of lying when I said last night is that he has suggested that Mexicans who were coming to this country are criminals and rapists. That is exactly what he said. What somebody like a Donald Trump is doing is playing on the fears and anxieties of the American people. And people are afraid.
They’re afraid of terrorism, rightfully so. They’re anxious about an economy in which the middle class is disappearing, missing massive levels of income and wealth inequality. People are worried about the future for the kids. These are legitimate fears.
So instead of having a rational discussion about how we rebuild the middle class, how we deal with Wall Street, how we have a tax system in which wealthy and powerful start paying their fair share of taxes, what Trump is saying is it’s all the Muslims’ fault, it’s all the Mexicans’ fault.
After that, Stephanopoulos asked Sanders why Trump’s message is resonating so well with voters. The proud Democratic Socialist pointed out that it is because it represents an “easy solution” to problems people face. It is always easiest to blame someone else, especially another race or ethnicity, for issue you are dealing with.
SANDERS: Because it’s an easy solution.
How do we rebuild the middle class?
Well, you’re going to have to stand up to corporate America. You’re going to have to stand up to Wall Street. You’re going to have to create millions of decent paying jobs by rebuilding our infrastructure. You’re going to have to provide health care to all people, et cetera, et cetera.
But what Trump says, this is new, this is what demagogues all over the world historically have done, they say are you nervous, are you scared, are you frightened for the future? I’ll tell you the reason. It’s the Muslims. All those Muslims out there are terrorists; we have to stop them coming into this country. It’s the Mexicans, it’s the immigrants who are coming in. They’re all rapists and criminals. Oh, OK. I’m angry. We’re going to take it out on them.
Meanwhile, this same Trump says minimum wage in America, which is $7.25 an hour, he says it’s good that we have a low minimum wage. This guy Trump is saying we need to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top 0.3 of 1 percent, the very richest people.
Now, if Bernie Sanders could maybe get even a fraction of the airtime that Donald Trump is receiving, perhaps his message would be resonating even more with voters. Considering he’s got more actual supporters than the former reality TV star, you’d think the networks would at least cover him every now and then.