Sanders promises 'clash of ideas' with Hillary Clinton if both run in 2016

Sanders promises 'clash of ideas' with Hillary Clinton if both run in 2016
© Lauren Schneiderman

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDe Blasio headed to Iowa to speak at political fundraiser Yes, spills happen — but pipelines are still the safest way to move oil Why sexual harassment discussions include lawmakers talking about Bill Clinton’s past MORE (I-Vt.) said Saturday morning that voters will see stark differences between himself and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Pelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill MORE if the two both decide to run for the White House in 2016.

“Trust me, there will be a real clash of ideas,” Sanders said on MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki.”

“I happen to like and respect Hillary Clinton, but I suspect on issues like massive investments in infrastructure, on real tax reform, on the need to deal in a very bold way with the planetary crisis of climate change, with the transpacific partnership, I suspect we will have some real differences.”

Sanders is flirting with entering the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, but Clinton is a prohibitive favorite. Despite her huge lead for the nomination in opinion polls, however, there are signs of discontent among progressives, especially when it comes to Clinton’s economic worldview. 

If Sanders runs, he’d likely trumpet the goals of the progressive wing of the party, which wants bold policies aimed at addressing rising income inequality.

“I think we need a political revolution in this country, we need to get people once again actively involved in the political process and take on the people who have the real power in America,” Sanders said. He added that income inequality is at its starkest since 1929 and that, since the 2008 recession, the vast majority of all new income generated has gone to the wealthiest one percent.

His wish-list includes robust infrastructure spending, raising the minimum wage and a “national health care program that guarantees health care” to all.

His proposals would both increase government spending and expand the bounds of government more generally — neither of which are things that Republicans are likely to support. But Sanders said that if progressives can rally a majority of Americans behind their message, they could force change in Congress.

“If some of us are successful in mobilizing the American people and in a sense, giving the Republicans an offer they can’t refuse, yes, we can be successful,” he said.

“We may not get everything we want, I think we can push the Republicans to raise the minimum wage a lot higher than it is right now.”