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Mon Mar 11, 2019, 07:39 AM

VT Insights: In New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders sets up Trump as opposite of democracy

Published 8:07 a.m. ET March 11, 2019


Democrats caught in the sights of Republicans trying to frame the 2020 presidential race as a choice between socialism and freedom might try a line from Bernie Sanders' New Hampshire campaign speech that pits an authoritarian President Trump against democracy itself.

"The very concept of democracy is under attack by a president who seems intent on emulating the authoritarian leaders in Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and elsewhere," Sanders told supporters at a campaign rally Sunday afternoon in Concord, New Hampshire.

In calling Trump authoritarian, Sanders returned to an theme he has talked about since at least last summer. And unlike some top-tier Democratic candidates who often avoid mentioning the president by name in campaign speeches, Sanders never fails to bring up Trump.

Calling Trump "a pathological liar," Sanders ticked off the president's sins against democracy:

Praise for "leaders who despise democracy."

Attacks on the news media, calling them "enemy of the people," and praising a Montana congressman who physically assaulted a journalist.

Support for efforts to purge voter rolls.

Reluctance to criticise Saudi Arabia for the killing of a Washington Post columnist.

Declaring a national emergency to pay for a wall on the Mexican border after Congress denied him the money.

"All over the world there is now a great struggle taking place between growing authoritarianism and democracy, and Trump is consistently on the wrong side of that struggle," he said.


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