In his first in-person event since ending his presidential campaign earlier this year, Sen. Bernie Sanders urged Americans of all parties to come together to protect the nation’s democracy against the threat posed by President Trump.
“This is not just an election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy – and democracy must win,” Sanders said in a speech in Washington, DC, on Thursday.
Sanders, urging Americans to take President Trump’s words seriously, quoted the President’s own comments in the White House briefing room on Wednesday in which he would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.
“That’s not his choice. That’s for the American people to determine,” Sanders said, later adding, “that may be what his friend Putin does in Russia. It may be what is done in other authoritarian countries. But it is not and will not be done in America.”
Sanders issued this warning to the President: “No matter how rich and powerful you may be, no matter how arrogant and narcissistic you may be, no matter how much you think you can get anything you want, let me make this clear to Donald Trump: Too many people have fought and died to defend American democracy. You are not going to destroy it.”
The progressive politician’s speech was a clear call for the unity of Americans of all parties and political backgrounds.
“With less than 6 weeks left to go in this campaign it is my fervent hope that all Americans — Democrats, Republicans, independents, progressives, moderates, conservatives —come together to defend American democracy, our constitution and the rule of law,” he said.
Several times throughout his remarks, Sanders cited concerns about election integrity and the President from Republicans, including former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, former DHS official Miles Taylor, notable election lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg and a co-founder of the Federalist Society.
The senator said President Trump is “attempting massive voter suppression” through his repeated baseless comments about mail-in voting and voter fraud.
“I call on every elected official in America whether they be Republican, Democrat or Independent to vigorously oppose voter suppression and voter intimidation, to make sure that every vote is counted, and that no one is declared the winner until those votes are counted,” Sanders said, later remarking that “everything possible must be done to prevent chaos, disinformation, and, yes, even violence” in the wake of the election.