Bernie Sanders said he plans on working with President-elect Donald Trump, but has a few conditions. The senator from Vermont said if Trump pursues “racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies,” he will work in opposition to him.
Several lawmakers and Washington officials have said they will work with Trump once he enters the office to create a cohesive government. That was even the focal point of Hillary Clinton’s concession speech on Tuesday, when she said “we owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” Others have followed the Democratic nominee’s lead, including Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator has very little in common with Trump, but he said he’s willing to put there past contentious relationship aside for the betterment of the country.
The Bern said in a statement people are tired of the status quo and Trump tapped into that:
“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.”
Sanders had an outside chance of becoming the Democratic nominee this campaign season, with his fervent fanbase and views that were refreshing from the normal Washington rhetoric. Sanders and Trump’s ideologies are polar opposites, but he seemed to understand people are ready for a new direction. Though Sanders has condemned the rhetoric Trump has used on the campaign trail, saying if Trump partakes in any of the hateful and inflammatory rhetoric in office, he will work against him:
“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.”
Trump is still a few months away from entering the White House, and what he is going to do while at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is still up in the air. Even some of his surrogates are not revealing their hand, as Rudy Giuliani told CNN Trump’s promise of imprisoning Hillary Clinton may not come to fruition. Time will tell if the campaign promises will hold up.
Sanders adds an additional caveat to his promise.