Sen. Bernie Sanders charged on Tuesday that President Donald Trump “has no political beliefs” and is a “total phony” in statements that are guaranteed to help him reach potential future Democratic primary voters.
The Vermont independent pointed to Trump’s change in position regarding abortion, health care, and taxes from views he espoused earlier in life.
“Look, he has no political beliefs, he is a total phony and a political opportunist,” Sanders said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“This guy actually supported a tax on wealth, he was pro-choice but he moves with the wind and right now, he is an extreme right-winger because he thinks that’s how you get votes,” he continued.
Sanders, 77, contended that Trump “is doing what no president in modern history has done and really trying to divide the American people up based on the color of our skin or country we came from or religion or sexual orientation. That is outrageous.”
Trump “has no political belief,” says @BernieSanders.
“He is doing what no president in modern history has done and really trying to divide the American people up based on the color of our skin or country we came from or religion or sexual orientation. That is outrageous.” pic.twitter.com/3ZqQpCiQVx
— New Day (@NewDay) November 27, 2018
The self-described democratic socialist is correct that Trump’s views on some major issues have changed, most notably abortion.
In an October 1999 “Meet the Press” interview with NBC’s Tim Russert, Trump described himself as “very pro-choice.”
“I hate the concept of abortion. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject,” he said, “But still I just believe in choice … I am strongly for choice, yet I hate the concept of abortion.”
Russert pressed him on whether a President Trump would allow partial birth abortion, in addition to other forms, and he said he would, again emphasizing abortion troubled him.
Trump stated during the first Republican primary presidential debate in August 2015, according to The Washington Post: “I’ve evolved on many issues over the years …. And you know who else has? Ronald Reagan evolved on many issues. And I am pro-life.”
In Reagan’s political career, the actor and future president moved from a solid Franklin Roosevelt New Deal Democrat to a Barry Goldwater conservative Republican.
According to ABC News, Trump went on to explain at the debate that his views on abortion had changed after some friends of his decided to have their unborn baby rather than abort it, and “that child today is a total superstar … And I saw that and other instances. And I am very, very proud to say that I am pro-life.”
The 45th president has received recognition from multiple groups — including being named pro-life person of the year by Operation Rescue — for the pro-life policies he has supported since taking office.
But Sanders’ statement on Trump could well have been a sounding board for another run for the presidency for the man who lost a lengthy nomination fight to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The senator — who is currently promoting his new book “Where We Go From Here” — has told multiple media outlets he is seriously weighing a 2020 presidential bid against Trump.
“If there’s somebody else who appears who can, for whatever reason, do a better job than me, I’ll work my ass off to elect him or her,” Sanders told New York magazine. “If it turns out that I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump, then I will probably run.”
Thanks to a rule change adoped by the Democratic National Committee in June, the independent senator will have to officially become a Democrat if he wants to win that party’s nomination.
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