Bernie Sanders explained why he thinks Joe Biden has adopted one of the most progressive agendas since Franklin D. Roosevelt, despite their continued differences, on The Late Show Wednesday, August 19th.
Speaking with Stephen Colbert, Sanders was frank about the gaps between his views and Biden’s, particularly when it comes to Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. But he spoke about working with Biden to hash out some compromise and applauded the platform’s approach to things like reigning in greed in the pharmaceutical industry, pivoting to clean electricity, ending cash bail and private prisons, and raising the minimum wage and making it easier for workers to join unions.
Colbert asked Sanders if his claim about this being the most progressive agenda since FDR was tied at all to the moment of crisis in the United States, and Sanders emphatically said yes. “I’ve talked to Joe a number of times since I left the campaign: He understands that we are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis,” Sanders said. “And I think, we don’t pay enough attention to the realities of America today. We talk a lot about the pandemic and 170,000 people dying; that’s enormously important, but we may be not focusing enough on the fact that, as we speak, there are millions of people who literally do not have food in the cupboard to feed their kids. They’ve lost their jobs, they have no income coming in. These are people who are worried about getting evicted from their homes.”
On that note, the conversation pivoted to the hold-up in the Senate over the next pandemic relief package. Sanders said much of the gridlock was due to the chunk of Republican Senators who had no interest in voting on any kind of relief bill for purely ideological reasons, which ultimately put Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in an uncomfortable political position.
“McConnell’s problem is, is that if he brings a bill to the floor of the Senate, the Democrats will be in charge because all of us will vote for that $600-a-week,” Sanders said. “All of us will vote for at least — I want more — $1,200 check for every American during this crisis for health care, for cities and towns. And [McConnell] will be in the minority and that is a very difficult political position for the Majority Leader to be in.”