Thursday on CNN, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told network host Wolf Blitzer that despite Tuesday’s general election outcome, he would be willing to work with President-elect Donald Trump.
Despite questions about how things might have turned out if he had been the Democrat nominee, Sanders dismissed that as a variable of the eletion and insisted he would work with the president-elect.
Partial transcript as follows:
BLITZER: So, a key reason why Donald Trump won was his anti-trade message that appealed to a lot of voters in states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, very similar to your own message that you used throughout your campaign against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
If you had been his competitor — that’s a big if — if you had been his competitor, Senator, do you think you could have beaten him?
SANDERS: I don’t think it’s — makes a whole lot of sense to do Monday-morning quarterbacking right now. The election is over. Donald Trump won. Between you and me, Wolf, I would have loved to have had the opportunity to run against him, but that did not end up being the case.
Right now where we are is where we are. I intend to work with President Trump on those issues where he will, in fact, work for the middle class and working families of this country. I will vigorously oppose him if he appeals to racism or sexism or some of the other discriminatory measures that he brought up during his campaign.
BLITZER: But it never crossed your mind that you might have done better against him, you might have actually won if you had been the Democratic nominee?
SANDERS: What good does it do now? You know, the election is over. And, you know, Hillary — I did my best to see that Hillary Clinton get elected. I was out in some 12 states during the last week with, I think, 21 rallies.
So the election is over, and we’ve got to look to the future. And what we have got to demand, I think, is that Mr. Trump keep the promises that he made to working families. You’ll remember, Wolf. He talked about how he was going to be a champion of working families.
Well, I hope he will raise the minimum wage so that people who are working for 9 or 10 bucks an hour get the kind of raise they’re entitled to. I hope he will do pay equity for women. Women should not be getting 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. I hope he’ll rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and I look forward to working with him if he chooses to do that and create millions of decent-paying jobs.
And on trade, absolutely we need a new trade policy. I will work with him to get corporate America to start investing in this country, not just in China and in Mexico.
I hope — you know, he told the American people, Wolf, that he didn’t have to pay any taxes. He is a multi-billionaire. He doesn’t have to pay a nickel in federal taxes because he knows how corrupt the tax system is.
Well, if he knows how well that — how corrupt that system is, I hope very much that he’ll work with progressives to create a tax system which in fact asks billionaires and multi-national corporations to start paying their fair share of taxes.