Bernie Sanders clobbers other Democrats in Nevada with pitch for Medicare for all and Green New Deal
Bernie Sanders looks like he's in a solid position to become the Democratic Party's presidential nominee in 2020.
The Vermont senator won a huge victory in the Nevada Democratic caucus.
It came after an army of Sanders volunteers and rank-and-file union members responded to his calls for single-payer universal health care (which he calls "Medicare for All"), the Green New Deal, free college tuition at public colleges and universities, and student-loan forgiveness, which would be financed by higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
At the core of Sanders's campaign is a pitch for unity between Americans who may not share the same religion, racial background, sexual orientation, and country of birth.
He often says that Donald Trump is hoping to be reelected by dividing the American people.
"We are going to win because we are doing exactly the opposite," Sanders said last night in San Antonio, Texas. "We are bringing our people together.
"We are bringing our people together: black and white and Latino, Native American, Asian American. Gay and straight. We are bringing our people together around an agenda that works for the working people of this country, not the one percent."
With 60 percent of the precincts reporting, Sanders has 46 percent of the delegate equivalents in Nevada, compared to 19.6 percent for the second-place finisher, former vice president Joe Biden.
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, is in third place with 15.9 percent, followed by Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren at 10.1 percent and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar at 4.8 percent.
This comes after Sanders won the New Hampshire primary and performed exceptionally well in the Iowa caucuses.
Warren's relatively poor showing and Sanders' broad support from Hispanics in Nevada puts the Vermont senator in a good position to consolidate the party's anticorporate left wing.
That would leave Buttigieg, Biden, Klobuchar, and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg scrapping it out for the support of centrist Democrats.
Below, you can watch a video Sanders's victory speech, which he delivered in San Antonio, Texas.
Transcript of speech by Bernie Sanders
Thank you. Thank you, San Antonio. Let me introduce to you the next First Lady of the United States, Jane Sanders.
Ha, ha, ha. You will be very proud of her as First Lady.
You know, based on what I have seen today in Texas, we were at El Paso, we are here now—don't tell, don't tell anybody—I don't want to get him nervous.
We are going to win the democratic primary in Texas.
And you know, you know, this is also important. The president gets very very upset easily, so don't tell him that we're going to beat him, here in Texas.
And now I'm delighted to bring you some pretty good news. I think all of you know we won the popular vote in Iowa. We won the New Hampshire primary. and according to three networks and the AP, we have now won the Nevada caucus.
So, let me thank the people of Nevada for their support. In Nevada we have just put together a multigenerational, multiracial coalition which is not only going to win in Nevada, it's going to sweep this country.
And in Nevada and in New Hampshire, what we showed is our volunteers are prepared to knock on hundreds and hundreds of thousands of doors, that no campaign has a grassroots movement like we do, which is another reason why we're going to win this election.
In Nevada, I want to thank our rank and file union members, I want to thank Make the Road, and all of the grassroots organizations that helped us win there.
We are going to win here in Texas.
We are going to win across the country because the American people are sick and tired of a president who lies all of the time. They are sick and tired of a corrupt administration. They are sick and tired of a president who is undermining American democracy, who thinks he is above the law, and who apparently has never read the constitution in this country.
The American people are sick and tired of a government which is based on greed, corruption, and lies. They want an administration which is based on the principles of justice.
Economic justice. Social justice. Racial justice. And environmental justice.
Now, Trump and his friends think they are going to win this election.
They think they're going to win this election by dividing people up based on the colour of their skin or where they were born or their religion or their sexual orientation.
We are going to win because we are doing exactly the opposite. We are bringing our people together.
We are bringing our people together: black and white and Latino, Native American, Asian American. Gay and straight. We are bringing our people together around an agenda that works for the working people of this country, not the one percent.
All over this country, workers are sick and tired of earning starvation wages. You can't make it on nine bucks an hour, or 11 bucks and hour or 12 bucks an hour. We are going to raise the federal minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.
We are going to provide equal pay for equal work for women. We are going to make it easier for workers to join unions.
We're going to create millions of good-paying union jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and building the 10 million units of low-income and affordable housing this country desperately needs. We're going to win this election because we believe in education.
We are going to have high-quality, affordable universal childcare.
We are going to triple funding for low-income, title one schools. And we need great teachers in this country. We need more Latino teachers.
We need more African American teachers. And because we know the vitally important work that teachers do, we're going to fight to make sure that no teacher in America earns less than $60,000 a year.
And because we believe in education, we believe that all of our people, regardless of their income, are entitled to a higher education. And that is why we're going to make public colleges and universities tuition-free.
And we're going to cancel all student debt in this country by imposing a modest tax on Wall Street speculation.
Twelve years, we bailed out the crooks on Wall Street. Now it is their turn to help the working families of this country.
And together we going to end the international embarrassment of the United States of America, our great country, being the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care to all people.
So, let me be as clear as I can be: health care is a human right, not a privilege.
We are going to end the absurd situation in which we now are spending twice as much per person on health care as the people of any other country, yet 87 million of us are uninsured or under-insured, 30,000 die each year, and 500,000 people go bankrupt because of medically related debt.
In America, you should not go bankrupt because you are struggling with cancer.
The function of a rational and humane health-care system is to guarantee health care to all, not make $100 billion in profits for the drug companies and the insurance companies.
And we are going to take on the greed and corruption of the pharmaceutical industry. Under our administration, the American people will not pay, in some cases, 10 times more for the same prescription drugs as those in Mexico, Canada, or in Europe.
And when we talk about the major crises facing this country, it is a sad state of affairs when we have a president of the United States who believes that climate change is a hoax.
Well, the scientific community has a slight disagreement with Mr. Trump. They think that climate change is an existential threat to this planet. And our administration believes in science, not right-wing extremism.
And that is why together, we are going to adopt the principles of the Green New Deal, which creates up to 20 million good-paying jobs as we transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.
Brothers and sisters, this is a moral issue. We must make sure the planet we leave our children and grandchildren is a planet that is healthy and habitable.
And when we talk about issues that must be dealt with, we in fact are going to reform a broken and racist criminal justice system.
We do not want to continue a situation where we have more people in jail than any other country, including China, four times our size. And the people in jail are disproportionately African American, Latino, and Native American.
And that is why we are going to invest in our young people, in jobs, in education. Not more jails and incarceration.
That is why we are going to end private prisons and detention centres. That is why we are going to end the war on drugs and legalize marijuana in every state in this country.
Let me ask you a question. Let me ask you a serious question. How many people in this room tonight know somebody who was arrested for possession of marijuana? We are going move forward to expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana.
And when we talk about broken and racist systems, we are going to bring about fundamental reform to our immigration system. I am the son of an immigrant. My father came to this country from Poland without a nickel in his pocket, couldn't speak a word of English, had very little education. I know something about the immigrant experience.
Together, we are going to end the demonization of the undocumented in this country. On our first day in office through executive order, we rescind all of Trump's racist immigration executive orders.
On our first day in office through executive order, we restore the legal status of the 1.8 million young people and their parents eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
On our first day in office, we end a border policy which today allows federal agents to grab babies from the arms of their mothers and throw children into cages. That is not what America is about.
And together we will do what the American people have wanted to do for years. And that is pass comprehensive immigration reform and a path toward citizenship.
Earlier today, Jane and I were in El Paso at the memorial at that terrible shooting—that terrible shooting in El Paso, at the Walmart store there. And this is my promise to you. Our gun-safety legislation, which the American people want because they are disgusted by the amount of gun violence and mass killings in this country, our gun-safety legislation will be written by the American people, not the NRA.
We will have universal background checks. We will end the gun-show loophole. And we will do what the American people want, and that is to end the sale and distribution of assault weapons in this country.
You know, I am a United States senator and I am on the floor of the Senate very often listening to speeches from Republican conservatives. And if you know their mantra, what they talk about all the time, is that they believe in small government. They believe in getting the government off the backs of the American people.
What I say tonight to those hypocrites: if you believe in getting the government off the backs of the American people, it is women that have the right to control their own bodies, not the government.
And my promise to you is that I will never nominate anybody to the Supreme Court or the federal bench who is not 100 percent pro Roe v. Wade. We will codify Roe v. Wade, put it into law, and we will significantly expand funding for Planned Parenthood.
As a United States senator, I do understand the power of the corporate elite and the one percent. They have, they have literally unlimited amounts of money. They have significant control over the media, over our economy, and over the political life of this country. But at the end of the day, the one percent is one percent.
I don't have a PhD in mathematics, but I do know that 99 percent is a heckuva lot bigger number than one percent.
So, what this campaign is about is understanding that if we do not allow Trump to divide us up by the colour of our skin or where we were born or our religion or our sexual orientation—
* if we stand together;
* if we fight for an agenda that works for working families and the middle class;
* if we get involved in the political process;
* if we stand for justice;
* if we stand for compassion;
* if we understand that we are all in this together, that my family has to care about your family, your family cares about my family;
* brothers and sisters, if we stand together;
* we will not only defeat Trump, we will transform this country and create a government and economy that works for all of us, not wealthy campaign contributors.
Thank you all so much.