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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks at a press conference

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) address reporters outside the White House on May 12, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sanders Warns GOP Midterm Win Would Pull US 'Far, Far, Far to the Right'

"We are taking on a political party, the Republicans, who literally are trying to undermine American democracy," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Jake Johnson

In his latest call for urgent voter turnout efforts, Sen. Bernie Sanders warned Monday that Republicans are planning to drag U.S. politics significantly further to the right if they take control of Congress in next month's midterms, pointing to their ongoing assault on democracy, support for tax cuts for the ultra-rich, and push for cuts to key social programs.

"This is the most important midterm election of the modern history of our country because we are taking on a political party, the Republicans, who literally are trying to undermine American democracy," Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a video posted to social media late Monday as voters across the country took part in early voting amid mounting fears of right-wing intimidation ploys.

"At a time when we face the existential threat of climate change, they couldn't care less."

Alluding to the GOP's support for a nationwide abortion ban, Sanders said Republicans "are trying to make it impossible for women in this country to control their own bodies."

"And at a time when we face the existential threat of climate change, they couldn't care less," the Vermont senator continued. "And in addition to all of that, at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, when the richest people are becoming phenomenally richer and working people are falling further and further behind, you know what Republicans want to do? They think it's a great idea to give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the top one-tenth of one percent."

"They think it's a brilliant idea when seniors can't—in Vermont, all over this country—can't afford to heat their homes in the winter, can't afford prescription drugs, you know what they want to do? They want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid," Sanders added.

Sanders' comments came a day after he expressed concern in a televised interview about Democratic turnout—particularly among young and working-class voters—and implored the party to sharpen its economic messaging with Election Day just two weeks away.

Early data shows more than 7 million ballots have already been cast across nearly 40 states. As CNN reported, "Pre-election voting remains on pace with 2018, the highest midterm voter turnout in recent history," but "it's still too early to say if total voter turnout will exceed 2018, as voting habits may have significantly shifted in recent years."

In his remarks Monday, Sanders acknowledged frustration among many voters that "the Democrats in Congress have not done more to stand up and fight for working families."

"I got that, and I share that disappointment," said Sanders, who caucuses with the Democratic Party. "But let me just tell you: if we do not come out and vote in large numbers, and if Republicans gain control over the House and the Senate, what you're looking at is a turn in American politics far, far, far to the right, which will impact every aspect of our lives."

"So what I hope very much is in the remaining two weeks of this campaign, that we go out and we do everything that we can to increase the voter turnout. Knock on doors," Sanders added. "This election is not just about you, it's not just about me. It's about our kids and our grandchildren. And we cannot fail them."

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