Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont—who handily won the Democratic Party primary in his state on Tuesday night even though he will continue to run as an Independent—appeared on CBS This Morning on Wednesday where he described the Republican Party under President Donald Trump as "bankrupt intellectually" and urged Democratic leaders to recognize that the future of their party is its energized, progressive wing and with candidates running on bold policies like Medicare for All, tuition-free college, a $15 minimum wage, and an end to corporate rule.
"What I'm seeing, is all across this country people are saying they want a government that represents all of us, not just the billionaire class and wealthy campaign contributors," Sanders said, when asked about recent primary results—including big wins on Tuesday for left-wing candidates in multiple states.
Citing the excitement and the number of political newcomers—and notably women, people of color, and young people—who are throwing their hat in the political ring for the first time on behalf the Democratic Party is a phenomenon that must be embraced, Sanders continued.
"What the Democrats need to do," he said, "is excite people – get young people, working people to the polls. If they do that, I think we're going to be just fine."
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Asked about Democratic Party leadership, specifically that of Rep. Nancy Pelosi in the House, Sanders said that he believes she's done a good job of leading the party, but that she has become one of the targets of Republicans because they need to talk about something other than their legislative record and regressive positions.
"The Republican Party is bankrupt intellectually," explained Sanders. "They are not going to campaign on their views of giving tax breaks to billionaires and cutting Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, so they have to come up with some demon, I guess their demon right now is Nancy Pelosi."
More striking and more important than the question of leadership, added Sanders, is the level of excitement and engagement among voters that he witnesses when he travels around the country these days.
"I am seeing an energy level that I have not seen before," he said. "So I'm less worried about people on top, than I am about seeing young people, working people getting involved. And that is happening."