Sanders: Democrats ‘absolutely’ have chance to win back rural America 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDems wonder if Sherrod Brown could be their magic man My fellow Democrats should watch their language: Economic equality is not a rational societal goal As Democrats gear up to challenge Trump in 2020, the key political divide will be metropolitan versus rural MORE (I-Vt.) told Hill.TV’s “Rising” that Democrats have a chance to win back rural voters in the upcoming midterm elections.

“Absolutely,” Sanders said in response to a question about whether Democrats could win back farmers.

“Look, what the Republican Party is today — and I know some people think I’m being overly partisan, but I’m really not — this is a party that worked as hard as they could to give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the top 1 percent and to incredibly profitable large corporations,” Sanders said.

Sanders also criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSunday shows preview: New members preview agendas after Democratic House takeover Trump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship As Democrats gear up to challenge Trump in 2020, the key political divide will be metropolitan versus rural MORE (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanCalif. congresswoman-elect bumps into Pelosi at airport How this year’s freshmen can save the Congress — and themselves Democrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters MORE’s (R-Wis.) support of entitlement reform and their legislative efforts to make changes to social safety net programs.

He argued that those are all issues where progressives can make a compelling case to rural voters.

"J.D. [Scholten] can go around in the most conservative parts of this district and I doubt there are too many people who think we should give tax breaks to billionaires and cut social security, Medicare and Medicaid,” Sanders said.

Scholten is the Democrat running against Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingDems must wield power against the powerful to win back rural America Iowa governor: Steve King needs to decide if he wants to represent ‘the values of the 4th District’ Conservative magazine posts recording of King using derogatory language against immigrants MORE (R-Iowa), and Sanders has been on the campaign trail seeking to help him get to the House.

Sanders acknowledges that winning back rural America will be no easy task, saying Democrats have failed to simply show up in many parts of the country and have “conceded those states to right-wing Republicans.”

— Tess Bonn