Politics

Bernie Sanders Claps Back at Donald Trump

July 26th 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

It didn't take long for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to weigh on the first day of Democratic National Convention.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — who spent much his speech calling for supporters to unify behind Hillary Clinton — wasn't too thrilled about Trump's jab.

In an earlier tweet, Trump eagerly invited disappointed #BernieorBust voters into his camp in what registered as a rather pleading attempt to co-opt Bernie's revolution and its devoted stragglers.

In fact, Sanders' speech highlighted some of the major differences between his own political movement and that of Clinton's general election rival.

“This election is about ending the grotesque level of wealth and income inequality in America today," Sanders said.

Sanders' supporters and Trump's supporters may share a sense of economic anxiety, but Sanders' words illustrated that he and Trump — while both painted as populists and political outsiders — approach the issue very differently.

Sanders called for raising the minimum wage, eliminating student debt, and eradicating the influence of major financial institutions.

Though Trump shares some of the criticism Sanders has previously voiced about Clinton's ties to Wall Street, at the RNC, Trump and many of his fellow-speakers (and fellow-Trumps) translated worries about economic instability into xenophobic paranoia about illegal immigrants and foreign laborers taking Amerians' jobs.

As many have pointed out on Twitter, Sanders' full throated endorsement of Clinton also starkly contrasts Ted Cruz's deliberate choice not to endorse Trump.

Though Sanders' call for supporters to embrace Clinton sends a hopeful message about divisions within the Democratic party, those divisions still very much exist — as evidenced by many disillusioned #BernieorBust voters pictured at the convention and audible chants of "we trusted you" during Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's speech.

Trump also took a shot at Warren — who has opposed Clinton on various issues over the years.

Comedian Sarah Silverman may have best captured the important — but for much of Sanders' progressive base, rather painstaking — decision to back Clinton in her speech earlier in the evening.

“Hillary heard the passion of the people, the people behind Bernie, and brought those passions into the party’s platform, and that is the process of democracy at its very best and it’s very cool to see,” Silverman said.

"I am proud to be part of Bernie's movement," she continued. "And a vital part of that movement is making absolutely sure Hillary Clinton is our next president of the United States."