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Sanders: GOPs 'Do Not Want Americans to Succeed'; Obama Should Steer Left

by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Sunday that Republicans "do not want Americans to succeed" in laying out his case for energizing the liberal base to go to the polls in November.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on "Face the Nation," Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. (Chris Usher/CBS) Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist who caucuses with Democrats, discussed President Obama's disconnect with the liberal wing along with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.


While Obama's accomplishment including healthcare reform have been "nothing to sneeze at," Sanders said, the middle class is shrinking while poverty increases and income gaps become wider.

"We have a very serious situation and I think there's a concern that the president hasn't seen that urgency," Sanders said, and "stood up for the American people the way we would like him to."

He said Obama needed to rally on a "progressive agenda to expand the middle class."

When pressed by host Bob Schieffer on his comments about Republicans, Sanders defended his words, saying that given the choice between political power and "initiatives to help the American people" that the GOP would choose power.

"The Republicans have said no, no, no," Sanders said. "They have been the party of no and obstructionism."

Richardson said it was more than just invigorating the liberal base, but about conservative and moderate Democrats as well, and he advised the various ideological wings to "stop complaining" and work together to win in November.

"All Democrats, we should stop firing at each other," Richardson said. "We've got enough people -- the Republicans -- firing at us."

Richardson said that while Obama "has tackled the major issues" and has "restored our standing internationally," he needed to "connect with voters emotionally."

"I think the president has done a much better job than people perceive, including the base," Rendell said.

"Ours is a complex message," Rendell added. "The Tea Party message is pretty simple and direct." Democrats should spend the next four weeks energizing the base and spreading the message that a Republican takeover would be "starkly bad for America."

"I think you're going to see more progressives coming out than you otherwise would have," Sanders said.

Rendell predicted that Democrats "definitely" will keep the Senate and have a chance at keeping the House.
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