Sanders’ Unity Tour With DNC Chair Exposes Rifts But Also Suggests Common Goals – Scott Detrow April 22, 2017 7:00 AM ET

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez walk past each other during their “Come Together and Fight Back” tour at the James L. Knight Center on Wednesday in Miami, Fla.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Things were going well for the Democrats in Miami.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hadn’t exactly sold out the downtown theater they were campaigning in, but the audience was solid and energetic.

The anti-DNC catcalls that had plagued early stops on the uneasy allies’ weeklong unity tour hadn’t surfaced. And both Perez and Sanders had delivered fiery speeches that had pumped up the crowd in a key city of a critical swing state.

Sanders was shaking hands with supporters as David Bowie’s “Starman” blared.

But when the music faded down, things took a turn.

A Sanders fan rushed the stage, grabbed the microphone, and shouted, “Bernie would have won!” The audience joined in the cheer, loudly repeating an alternate reality rallying cry that didn’t exactly scream, “Democratic Unity Tour.”

The DJ quickly drowned out the chant with a new song — Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere.”

It was fitting. Because while Perez and Sanders weren’t visiting Reno, Chicago, Fargo and Minnesota, their itinerary was kind of close: Maine, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, Nebraska, Utah, Arizona and Nevada.

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Sanders revolution resists DNC loss – By Tim Alberta 02/26/17 07:34 AM EST

What happens next for the Bernie wing ‘is an open question,’ says one top Democrat.

Sen. Bernie Sanders walks alongside Sen. John McCain (right) as they arrive for Donald Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20.
Sen. Bernie Sanders walks alongside Sen. John McCain (right) as they arrive for Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. | AP Photo

ATLANTA — Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters went hard after anyone who wouldn’t back Keith Ellison in the run-up to the Democratic National Committee chair election.

Sanders phoned Jaime Harrison on Wednesday, the South Carolina Democratic chair who was on the verge of dropping out of the race, making a heavy pitch for him to endorse Ellison as a transformational moment for the party.

The next day, when Harrison threw his support to former Labor secretary Tom Perez instead, Ellison supporters worked off talking points and attacked him as a corporate lobbyist insider who’d struck a crooked deal that didn’t pass their purity test.

New York Rep. Greg Meeks had his own showdowns with the Sanders-inspired coalition. One of the few sitting members of Congress who had a vote in the DNC election here Saturday, Meeks was repeatedly threatened by Ellison and Sanders supporters with a primary challenge if he backed anyone else.

Ellison’s loss in the second-round of voting dashed the Sanders wing’s hopes of taking over the party establishment. But to the surprise of most in the room, the announcement that Perez won was met mostly with applause, rather than an outbreak of chaos and screams. There were chants of “Party for the people, not big money,” that briefly interrupted the proceedings but they came from a total of nine very loud Ellison supporters who were sitting in the seats left open to the general public.

What happens next for party’s Sanders-aligned movement, said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed — who backed Perez — “is an open question.”

More likely, it’s two questions: what Ellison does next, and what Ellison’s supporters do next.

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Sanders and Cruz debate ObamaCare on CNN: live coverage – BY PETER SULLIVAN AND WILL SOMMER – 02/07/17 08:48 PM EST

bernie_sanders_ted_cruzCruz, Sanders close debate on ObamaCare: Broken promises or a step in the right direction

The debate came to an end with Sen. Ted Cruz arguing ObamaCare had failed to live up to its promises, while Sen. Bernie Sanders said it is a step in the right direction.

Cruz pointed to promises like “If you like your plan, you can keep it,” as proof say the law had failed.

“Those are broken promises,” he said.

Cruz called for more options for American consumers.

“It was government control that messed this all up,” he said, adding: “Instead we’re going to give you choice.”

He called for the institution of long-promoted Republican policies like allowing insurance to be sold across state lines and expanding Health Savings Accounts.

Sanders stressed his theme that ObamaCare is a step in the right direction toward a single-payer system.

He said ObamaCare had provided crucial consumer protections, like for people with pre-existing conditions. “Under Ted’s idea all of that is gone, you are on your own,” Sanders said.

But he said there is more work to be done, since some people are still struggling. “What kind of craziness is this?” he said. “We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world.”

Cruz, Sanders find a bit of agreement

The senators found some agreement on the area of high drug prices, saying that lower-cost drugs should be imported from abroad.

Sanders, though, called for going further and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

“The pharmaceutical industry owns the United States Congress,” Sanders said.

“It’s not just Republicans,” he added.

In addition to importation, Cruz pointed to speeding up the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process for new drugs.

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Sanders Centers Platform Fight On Trans-Pacific Trade Deal – ARNIE SEIPEL July 3, 2016 12:50 PM ET

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., delivers a speech titled "Where We Go From Here" on June 24 in Albany, N.Y.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., delivers a speech titled “Where We Go From Here” on June 24 in Albany, N.Y. — Mike Groll/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders went out of his way Sunday to find praise for the Democratic party’s platform drafting committee, but there is one major sticking point: The Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Sanders wants the final platform to unequivocally oppose the free-trade deal that was negotiated by the Obama administration, saying it “threatens our democracy” in an op-ed published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday.

The runner-up in the Democratic primary contest did refer to the draft platform, which was released on Friday, as “an excellent start” for its provisions calling for a 21st-century Glass-Steagall Act, expanding Social Security, closing loopholes in the corporate tax code, infrastructure investment, ending the death penalty and eliminating superPACs.

Sanders called for stronger language on enacting a national minimum wage at $15 per hour. The draft platform states, “We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour,” but it does not explicitly call for legislation to that end.

Sanders’ strongest condemnation was reserved for how the party proposes handling TPP. Here’s what the draft platform says about it:

On the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), there are a diversity of views in the party. Many Democrats are on record stating that the agreement does not meet the standards set out in this platform; other Democrats have expressed support for the agreement. But all Democrats believe that any trade agreement must protect workers and the environment and not undermine access to critically-needed prescription drugs.

It’s an issue that has divided the White House from many Democrats. Hillary Clinton helped promote the deal as it was being drafted when she was Secretary of State. But Clinton came out in opposition to it last October, just before the first Democratic primary debate.

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Six times as many Sanders supporters would shift to Clinton over Trump – poll – Dan Roberts in Washington and Mona Chalabi in New York Friday 10 June 2016 11.04 EDT

Exclusive: SurveyUSA data suggests Sanders voters could help Clinton recapture young people, union members and critical midwest and north-east states

The SurveyUSA poll suggests Democrats are in a strong position to convert the positive energy from Sanders’ challenge to Clinton into general election success.

Nearly six times as many Bernie Sanders supporters are prepared to shift their support to Hillary Clinton than vote for Donald Trump in November, according to an exclusive new poll which suggests Democrats are in a strong position to convert energy from their passionate primary contest into general election success.

However, the research, conducted by SurveyUSA for the Guardian, also shows that if Sanders were to find a way of staying in the presidential race, it could hand the White House to Trump, who would beat Clinton by three percentage points in that scenario.

Carried out the day after the California primary, the polling news comes amid residual pressure from some Sanders supporters for him to continue his struggle – either as an independent or perhaps by replacing Jill Stein, the Green party candidate, on that party’s ticket.

But the survey of 1,408 registered voters reveals limited appetite for this option, which would split the progressive vote. Presented with a four-way choice of Trump, Clinton, Sanders and libertarian Gary Johnson, 35% would vote for the presumptive Republican nominee, versus 32% for Clinton, 18% for Sanders and 4% for Johnson.

Yet when Sanders is removed from the equation and voters are offered the more expected lineup of Trump, Clinton, Stein and Johnson, it is the presumptive Democratic nominee who emerges on top with 39%, followed by Trump on 36%, Johnson at 6% and Stein on 4%. Only 5% of respondents told pollsters they would “stay at home and not vote” in this scenario.

The lead for Clinton over Trump mirrors other recent polling which suggests the former secretary of state is again pulling away from her Republican challenger after a week in which his comments were described as racist by the House speaker, Paul Ryan.

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