Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Manchin fires warning shot on plan to expand Medicare Democrats steamroll toward showdown on House floor MORE (I-Vt.) on Sunday dismissed criticism regarding his comments about fellow Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHeller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 MORE’s private email server during the first Democratic presidential debate.
“I think what the American people want, George, is a discussion in this country of the real issues that are impacting them,” he told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” “And that is they're asking why it is they're working longer hours for low wages, why we have a massive level of income and wealth inequality such that almost all of the new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.
“They want a discussion to know why it is that we are the only major country on Earth that doesn't provide paid family and medical leave, why they can't send their kids to college, why we have today more people in jail than any other country on Earth, 2.2 million people, and why we're not investing in our young people, in jobs and education rather than more jails and incarceration,” he added. “Why we are not dealing with the reality of who controls our rigged economy and a corrupt political system, which as a result of Citizens United is allowing billionaires to buy elections, why we are not dealing with climate change, the great global crisis facing our country.”
Sanders said all of those issues are more important than Clintons emails, adding that “there is already a process underway to determine what happened.”
“I think the secretary is right, and I think the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails,” Sanders said to raucous cheers from the partisan crowd in Las Vegas at the first Democratic debate last week.
“The American people want to know whether we will have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the emails, let’s talk about the real issues,” Sanders added.
Sanders on Sunday also said that he supports President Obama’s decision to keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan, but would not commit to a specific troop level.
“Clearly, we do not want to see the Taliban gain more power and I think we need a certain nucleus of American troops present in Afghanistan to try to provide the training and support the Afghan army needs.”
Sanders also criticized former President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq after 9/11, calling it “one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of the United States.”
“It destabilized the entire region, and led us, in many respects, to where we are today, he said.