Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders‘ campaign has taken to pitching him, of late, in media spaces that typically cater to voters who are more likely to vote for Donald Trump than anyone else, and Friday morning, he tried his hand at local California right-wing radio. In an appearance on The John and Ken Show, Sanders was asked to answer for, among other things, his recent tirade against the Walt Disney Company and his obviously useless decades of public service and advocacy. The interview quickly became contentious (transcript via Buzzfeed):
HOST: You didn’t answer the main question about what jobs have you created. It’s pretty vague, your background. What have you done in your life?
SANDERS: There’s nothing vague—
HOST: I’m not really clear on what kind of jobs you’ve had, besides Senator.
SANDERS: I have been in the U.S. House of representatives and actually before that, I was a mayor of 8 years. You ever been to Burlington, VT?
HOST: Yeah, but have you ever not been paid by taxpayers?
SANDERS: All right, look, if you don’t like government my friend, that’s fine. I’m proud of the record I’ve established as a mayor, making Burlington, VT, one of the more beautiful small cities in America, proud of my record in the House, proud of my record in the United States Senate. You don’t like government? That’s your point of view. I am proud of what I have accomplished.
Throughout the rest of the interview, which you can see here, Sanders fought through interruptions to try and explain that just because a government agency is troubled doesn’t mean that government shouldn’t do anything, or that the private sector does any better. Funny, they never suggest “cutting the size of government” when it’s the cops or the military screwing up.
Good for Bernie for standing up for himself, but this is what happens when you try and market yourself to right-wingers, as Hillary Clinton discovered in 2008. That interview isn’t going to deliver Bernie a single vote, and it’s a preview of what he can expect if his planned debate with Donald Trump materializes on Fox News, where it almost certainly will.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.