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