Sanders blasts Dems’ ‘abysmal’ turnout

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Dems target Wells Fargo auditor Trump aide: 'We have three major voter suppression operations under way' Clinton: AT&T deal 'raises questions and concerns' MORE (I-Vt.) said on Sunday that “Democrats are losing because voter turnout is abysmal.”

“I think we can change that,” Sanders said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Sanders rejected criticisms that his status as an independent lawmaker makes him incapable of winning the Democratic nomination next year.

“I think it is an advantage,” he said of his political affiliation. “Because when I speak to 28,000 people in Portland, Ore., and 27,000 people in Los Angeles, the vast majority of those people, they’re not quote-unquote registered Democrats.”

“They are ordinary people who are sick and tired of politics as usual,” he said. “And by the way, one of the real advantages, I think, of me winning the Democratic primary, is that we get a lot of young people, a lot of working people involved in the political process, getting them out to vote in a way that establishment politicians can’t.”

Sanders refused comment Sunday on what Vice President Biden’s potential entrance into the 2016 race would mean for his own campaign.

“We’ll let the political pundits determine that,” he said. “The decision as to whether or not he runs is his.”

“If he does run, I promise him an issue-oriented campaign,” Sanders said. “We’ll debate the major issues facing the American people.”

“I have known Joe for many, many years,” the Vermont lawmaker added. “And everybody who knows Joe likes him and respects him.”

Sanders also said that he sees personal wealth as his defining contrast with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“Here’s the difference,” he responded when asked by host Chuck Todd about his possible similarities with the New York business mogul.

“You know, I am not a billionaire,” Sanders said. “My family doesn’t have a whole lot of money.”

“We are raising our campaign contributions from 350,000 people who are contributing, Chuck, on average, $31.20 apiece,” the 2016 White House hopeful said.

“To go out to working-class people, to go out to the middle-class people, and get support,” Sanders added. “That’s our response. I think that’s a bit different approach than Donald Trump’s.”