Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders will 'absolutely' work with Trump to lower prescription drug costs Sanders says he will introduce 'Medicare for all' bill Sunday shows preview: Aftermath of failed healthcare bill MORE defended his opposition to the Export-Import Bank at Sunday's presidential debate, which puts him on the same side as some of Congress's most conservative Republicans, by arguing that Democrats are not always in the right.
“I don’t want to break the bad news — Democrats are not always right. Democrats have often supported corporate welfare; Democrats have supported disastrous trade agreements," Sanders said during Sunday's Democratic debate in Flint, Mich.
"But on this issue, I do not believe in corporate welfare."
Sanders has identified as an Independent throughout his time in the House and Senate. While he caucuses with the Democrats in Congress, he only shifted over to the party to run for president.
That's an issue Clinton has hit him on in the past. Her campaign released a statement over the weekend from Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) which noted that Sanders was the "only Democrat in the Senate to vote with ultra-conservative Republicans to kill the Export-Import Bank."
Critics of the Export-Import Bank, which briefly shut down before Congress agreed to renew its charter, deride it as "crony capitalism" and a waste of money. Many conservative groups and Republican politicians, including Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzHow 'Big Pharma' stifles pharmaceutical innovation AIPAC must reach out to President Trump Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE (R-Texas), a presidential hopeful, are against it.
Sanders's campaign put out a statement ahead of the debate bashing the bank and arguing that "more than 75 percent of Export-Import Bank financing goes to large profitable corporations which have moved manufacturing plants and jobs overseas."
But Clinton came to the bank's defense, arguing that it is a vital tool to promote American businesses abroad.
"When I traveled around the world on your behalf as secretary of State, went to 112 countries, one thing I saw everywhere was how European countries, Asian countries were supporting their companies back in their countries to be able to make sales and contracts in a lot of the rest of the world," she said.
"Without the Export-Import Bank, supporting businesses of all sizes, I believe more jobs would be lost here at home, and more jobs literally would be exported."