After President Donald Trump kicked off his 2020 reelection bid Tuesday night with an event that echoed the xenophobic hysteria of his 2016 campaign launch, White House hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into the president's "hour-and-a-half speech of lies," highlighted the rally's lack of substance, and examined the deeply unequal America that Trump left completely unmentioned.
"Listening to Trump made me feel very much that he is a man living in a parallel universe, a man way out of touch with the needs of ordinary people, and a man who must be defeated," Sanders said in an online address shortly after the president's rally in Orlando came to a close.
"Trump didn't talk about the half of America that has zero wealth at all. Trump didn't talk about the incredible level of income and wealth inequality in America."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
While Trump engaged in his typical name-calling, attacks on the press, and racist fearmongering about immigration, the president, Sanders said, ignored the real crises facing the American public and the planet—including, most notably, the global climate emergency.
"What I want to talk about is not so much what he said, but what he didn't say," said the Vermont senator. "And if you ask, for a start, the scientific community, globally, what the major crisis facing our planet is, they will tell you without a second's hesitancy, that that crisis is climate change... and if we don't get our act together in the very short near future, there will be irreparable damage done to this planet."
"Maybe I missed it," Sanders continued. "I did not hear Donald Trump mention one word about the planetary crisis of climate change. And in fact what he boasted about is that we are producing more carbon, which is only going to speed up the climate change crisis."
Sanders went on to detail the other crucial issues the president ignored during his remarks, including America's "crumbling infrastructure," the completely stagnant federal minimum wage, and "the fact that half of the people in this country are working paycheck-to-paycheck."
"Trump talked about the booming economy. In truth, unemployment is low, stock market is high. But what didn't he talk about?" Sanders said. "Trump didn't talk about the half of America that has zero wealth at all. Trump didn't talk about the incredible level of income and wealth inequality in America."
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Sanders's response to Trump's address came just hours after a new survey showed the Vermont senator leading the president by six points in Florida in a hypothetical general election match-up.
As Common Dreams reported Sunday, a Fox News poll found that Sanders is nine points ahead of Trump nationally, which the Sanders campaign highlighted in a fundraising email as further evidence of the Vermont senator's strength as a general election candidate.
Sanders closed his remarks Tuesday night with a call to resist Trump's divisive reelection strategy and "bring people together around an agenda that works for all of us, not just the wealthy campaign contributors and the people on top."
"We got a lot to do," Sanders said. "But our job, most importantly, is to defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country. Our job is to keep our eyes on the prize, which is creating a decent life for all people. Our job is to resist Trump's effort to divide us up."