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Bernie Sanders called Trump’s State of the Union address ‘racist’ and said he’s trying to ‘divide us up’

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  • Sen. Bernie Sanders delivered a response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, focusing heavily on the president’s claims about the strength of the US economy.
  • Sanders also said Trump’s rhetoric on undocumented immigration and was “racist” and “factually inaccurate.”
  • “He is trying to divide us up,” Sanders said of Trump. “He is trying to have one group turn against another group, and that is certainly not what this country is supposed to be about.”
  • Sanders faced criticism for offering a rebuttal on top of the official Democratic response from Stacey Abrams.
  • The independent senator from Vermont is considering running for president again in 2020.

Follow along with all of INSIDER’s coverage of the State of the Union here.

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night offered a blistering rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, focusing more on what the president didn’t mention as opposed to what he did touch on.

Sanders zeroed-in heavily on Trump’s claims about the economy in his response. The Vermont senator noted that Trump was correct in contending the economy is doing well, but he argued it’s only benefiting a small number of wealthy people.

“We have more wealth and income inequality than any major country on earth,” Sanders said, adding that the economy is “not booming” for the roughly 80% of Americans living “paycheck to paycheck.”

Sanders said Americans should not be proud of the economy when the US has “the highest rate of childhood poverty in the developed world.”

  • President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence listens and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reads the speech, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

He said too many in the US are working for “starvation wages,” and slammed Trump for not discussing raising the minimum wage to a living wage.

“People are not truly free when they can’t afford to go to the doctor when they are sick. People are not truly free when they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they desperately need. People are not truly free when they are unable to retire with dignity,” Sanders said.

“People are not truly free when they are exhausted because they are working longer and longer hours for lower wages,” he added. “People are not truly free when they cannot afford a decent place in which to live. People are certainly not truly free when they cannot afford to feed their families.”

Quoting Martin Luther King Jr., Sanders said, “This country has socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for the poor.” This was perhaps a jab at Trump’s fearful rhetoric about socialism in his Tuesday night address.

Sanders also ripped into Trump on his claims about undocumented immigration, particularly regarding violent crime. He said Trump’s rhetoric on this subject was “racist” and “factually inaccurate,” and questioned why Trump doesn’t focus more on violence committed by white men.

Trump did not mention climate change in his speech at all, a fact of which Sanders disdainfully noted. “Somehow” Turmp just “forgot” to talk about this subject, Sanders said.

He also said it was embarrassing that Trump ignored the fact the US is the only developed country without universal healthcare.

Sanders went on to slam Trump for not mentioning voter suppression, Russian election interference, and US involvement in Yemen, among other topics.

The Vermont senator said Trump’s call for a border wall led to a shutdown that caused much pain and suffering, and rejected the president’s assertion there’s a crisis at the southern border. He called on the US to focus on working toward offering a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the country, whom he said were overwhelmingly hardworking and law-abiding.

“He is trying to divide us up,” Sanders said of Trump. “He is trying to have one group turn against another group, and that is certainly not what this country is supposed to be about.”

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders delivered a live response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

Stacey Abrams gave the official Democratic response to Trump’s address, and Sanders followed not long after. The former Georgia gubernatorial candidate was the first black woman to deliver the Democratic rebuttal to a State of the Union in US history.

Given some of the criticism Sanders faced on not focusing enough on the black community during his 2016 presidential campaign, some felt it was unwise for him to also deliver a response on top of Abrams’ rebuttal – particularly as he’s considering running in 2020.

Symone Sanders, who served as Sanders’ press secretary in 2016, in a Tuesday CNN appearance said, “If Senator Sanders is somebody that’s thinking about throwing his name… in the ring for president, and he knows he has an issue with people saying that they don’t think he supports and uplifts the voices of black women, of people of color, do not step on Stacey Abrams. Do not give more fodder to the people that are already going to be critical of you in the first place.”

Sanders seemed to address some of the criticism he faced ahead of his response in a tweet praising Abrams.

“Stacey Abrams is a great choice to deliver the Democratic response,” Sanders said on Monday. “I’m very much looking forward to her speech. For the third year in a row, following the Democratic rebuttal I’ll be on Facebook Live, Twitter and YouTube to respond to Trump.”

Following Trump’s address, the Vermont senator urged people to watch Abrams’ speech. He tweeted, “Now that that’s over, please watch my friend Stacey Abrams share her message for the country.”

Republicans did not seem to appreciate Sanders’ response to Trump’s speech.

“It’s crazy to think that Bernie Sanders’ socialist agenda has become the norm for the Democrat Party,” RNC spokesman Steve Guest told INSIDER. “While his signature policies like government run-health care have been fully embraced by their liberal base, they’re far too extreme for everyday Americans.”

Guest also rejected Sanders’ allegations of racism against Trump.

“President Trump has brought African American and Hispanic unemployment to record lows and passed historic criminal justice reform,” Guest said. “Just because someone disagrees with Bernie’s left-wing agenda that doesn’t make them racist.”

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Comments (4)

  1. If you want to get away from people of color there is no better State to move to than VT, on 1.4% African American.

    Bernie is the racist hypocrite. The low-life, low-intellect clown of VT…. and the other one appears to have some problems with the sauce.

  2. If Bernie keeps talking like that he will get elected; I expect by the next election if there is one, the citizens will be ready for some socialism, that is, spreading the wealth around a bit more than today.
    Of course, the money won’t come free; free, the Republicans love that word and they use it like a sharp knife. Spread the wealth around, a Democrats trick, meaning the Communist Government gets more, the Citizens, tamed to think they prosper when the Politicians prosper.
    It is all downhill from here, the only People who can prosper are the Banker King and his Chosen. All of this wrangling about the wealth is what occurred in the beginning, you know, “We, the people” and all that shet put out by the bought and paid for “Founding Fathers.” We, the people, are the rich and powerful, the Politicians and their Banker God, the Chosen ones, wherein 35 of them can change the policies of a nation.
    Us, that’d be you and myself, we are not people, no really, we are not people, we are citizens or some form of the word, citizen, as understood today, always have been, always will be. The “Declaration” being, some time ago King James made a deal with the Askenazis to bring a bunch of citizens here, citizens have worked the land, we have paid the price, now the citizens want more of the wealth produced, themselves.
    If you, the Founding Fathers, told the Bank and the Royalty, don’t give us more as we demand, then, we will stir the citizens to anger and fight against you, so you get nothing at all.
    It worked, they, the “Founding Fathers,” their Children, the future leadership, the elite today, got their deal, still do, us citizens, we are still under the old King James contract except now we have more of them feeding off of our productivity. So many now, that debt is overwhelming all our productivity and war prevails, eternal.
    Free, free to be robbed, if they want -raped, and for sure murdered, hey there old buddy, how does it feel to be free, really? Maybe, all out Communism, Liberalism, whatever -ism, might be at least a break from this humdrum, verily getting by, life, we are living today, Either way, all the ways, we still get screwed, because, that is what citizens are, they are to be screwed, and, made to like it.

  3. The SOTU was racist????? No ………… Bernie Sanders is RACIST.
    This should apply to ALL who pose as liberals but live as Conservatives and then attack Conservatives for daring to defend themselves. Make them walk home with their groceries through the gang infested streets that their “liberalism” create We need the
    “Close RACIST LIBERAL HYPOCRITE BIGOT Bernie Sanders loopholes” Act….
    if you demonstrate & DEMAND people integrate —- YOU have to live in a DIVERSE neighborhood !!!!!! MOVE Sanders into the Chicago Ghetto so he can spend his declining years mixing with those he SAYS he loves. Don’t you DARE demand I integrate while YOU RUN AWAY .
    Sanders was born and raised in the New York City borough of Brooklyn and graduated from the University of CHICAGO in 1964. While a student, he was an active civil rights protest organizer for the CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY and STUDENT (not really)NONVIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE.
    Bernie ran to Vermont in 1968, to get away from BLACKS to raise HIS family in SAFETY Sanders switched PARTIES, BETRAYED the Veterans, and instigates the Blacks and then RUNS AWAY.
    In January 1962, Sanders led a rally at the University of Chicago administration building to protest university president George Wells Beadle’s segregated campus housing policy. “We feel it is an intolerable situation when Negro and white students of the university cannot live together in university-owned apartments,” Sanders said at the protest. But then Sanders ran to SAFE LILLY WHITE VERMONT to raise HIS children far away from those Blacks he demands you raise your children among.

  4. Youd think, as long as this person has been on the public dole, he would eventually expand his vocabulary along the way.

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