Mar 02, 2020
Sen. Bernie Sanders took less than two minutes Monday night to rebut rival Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren's claim last weekend that the Vermont senator's decades-long record in Congress shows "he consistently calls for things he fails to get done."
Asked by CNN's Anderson Cooper to respond to Warren's charge, Sanders said he "respectfully disagree[s]" with the Massachusetts senator's characterization of his record and rattled off a number of accomplishments, including legislative victories like the expansion of community health centers and passage of the War Powers Act.
Sanders also pointed to his role in pressure campaigns against Amazon and Disney which resulted in wage increases for hundreds of thousands of workers.
"Four years ago, I talked about raising the minimum wage in this country to $15 an hour," Sanders said. "And you know what? I was able, working with workers at Amazon and Disney, to get 400,000 workers an increase in their minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. And now you got seven states in this country that have raises their minimum wage to $15 an hour, and as president we're going to do it nationally."
I talked about making public colleges and universities tuition-free four years ago and now you got states, cities, counties moving in exactly that direction.
Four years ago, I talked about climate change being the great national security crisis facing this country. Other people now understand that.
In terms of my record, I helped pass, along with [late Arizona Sen.] John McCain, the most significant veterans bill passed in recent history. Along with [Democratic Rep.] Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, I put into the Affordable Care Act $11 billion for community health centers, which is now providing primary healthcare to nine million Americans.
Working with conservative Republicans, we managed for the first time to utilize the War Powers Act to get the United States of America out of the terrible war in Yemen, which is one of the worst humanitarian disasters on Earth right now.
As a member of the House, I passed more amendments on the floor, roll-call amendments, than any other member of the House.
"So I am proud of my record," Sanders said. "We're gonna run on that record. But most importantly, we need a new vision for America, a vision that tells the corporate elite and the one percent that this country belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires."
The Intercept's Jeremy Scahill tweeted Monday night that what was "notable" about Sanders' answer was his ability to counter Warren's claim without attacking the Massachusetts senator personally.
"He says he disagrees with her commentary on him and then proceeds to calmly describe some of his record," Scahill wrote.
Current Affairs editor Nathan J. Robinson, an outspoken Sanders supporter, echoed Scahill.
"Notice that he not only completely decimates Warren's unfair attack," Robinson tweeted, "but does so without himself saying a single negative word about Warren."
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