Sanders Makes Play for Trump's 'Angry' Supporters
'We need policies that bring us together,' Sanders said, rather than play on Americans' frustrations to incite anger and bigotry
Bernie Sanders on Sunday lambasted his fellow presidential contender Donald Trump for manipulating many working Americans' legitimate economic frustrations and converting them into misguided "anger."
"Many of Trump's supporters are working-class people and they're angry, and they're angry because they're working longer hours for lower wages, they're angry because their jobs have left this country and gone to China or other low-wage countries, they're angry because they can't afford to send their kids to college so they can't retire with dignity," Sanders said on Face the Nation.
"What Trump has done with some success is taken that anger, taken those fears which are legitimate and converted them into anger against Mexicans, anger against Muslims, and in my view that is not the way we're going to address the major problems facing our country," Sanders said.
Sanders explained he how planned to win over Trump's "working class and middle class supporters" by focusing on issues driving inequality and pointed to comments made during a November Republican debate during which Trump argued that wages are "too high" and that raising the minimum wage would hurt the national economy.
"This is a guy who does not want to raise minimum wage," Sanders said.
He continued: "We can make the case that if we really want to address the issues that people are concerned about, why the middle class is disappearing, massive income and wealth inequality in this country, that we need policies that bring us together, that take on the greed of Wall Street, the greed of corporate America, and create a middle class that works for all of us, rather than an economy that works just for a few."
Sanders' criticisms apparently caught the attention of the Republican frontrunner, who wrote on Twitter on Monday: "Wages in are country are too low, good jobs are too few, and people have lost faith in our leaders. We need smart and strong leadership now!"
This is a strategy that could work well for the Vermont senator. In fact, recent polling showed that if placed head-to-head, voters favor Sanders to Trump 51 to 38 percent.