The Slatest

Watch Bernie Sanders’ Shrewd, Spirited Takedown of Donald Trump’s Bigotry

Bernie Sanders debate
Bernie Sanders at the Democratic debate in New Hampshire on Dec. 19, 2015.

Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

The threat of terrorism naturally came up at Saturday night’s Democratic debate in New Hampshire, and at one point, Bernie Sanders pivoted from a discussion of racial profiling into a condemnation of Donald Trump’s jingoism that doubled as a concise explanation of its “dangerous” and misleading appeal:


The transcript:

I want to talk about something else because Secretary Clinton, I think, made some interesting and good points. What you have now is a very dangerous moment in American history. The Secretary is right. Our people are fearful. They are anxious on a number of levels. They are anxious about international terrorism. And the possibility of another attack on America. We all understand that. But you know what else they’re anxious about? They’re anxious about the fact that they are working incredibly long hours, they’re worried about their kids and they’re seeing the income and wealth going to the top 1 percent. And they’re looking at Washington and saying, ‘the rich are getting much richer, I’m getting poorer, what are you going to do for my kids?’ And somebody like a Trump comes along and says, ‘I know the answers. The answer is that all of the Mexicans, they’re criminals and rapists, we’ve got to hate the Mexicans. Those are your enemies. We hate all the Muslims because all of the Muslims are terrorists. We’ve got to hate the Muslims.’ Meanwhile, the rich get richer. So what I say to those people who go to Donald Trump’s rallies, understand, he thinks a low minimum wage in America is a good idea. He thinks low wages are a good idea. I believe we stand together to address the real issues facing this country, not allow them to divide us by race or where we come from. Let’s create an America that works for all of us, not the handful on top.

Click here to read Slate’s Jamelle Bouie on the historical background of Trump’s appeal to the “most hateful strains of American politics.”

Read more of Slate’s coverage of the Democratic primary.