Sanders to Trump: 'We are going to hold you to account'

Sanders to Trump: 'We are going to hold you to account'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Health Care: Drug industry nervous about Grassley | CDC warns public not to eat romaine lettuce | Sanders unveils new drug pricing bill Sanders and Khanna have a plan to lower your drug prices 2020 Democrats challenge Trump's use of troops at Mexico border MORE (I-Vt.) vowed Wednesday to hold Trump to his promises to strengthen the working class — and fight against some of his more controversial positions and rhetoric.

“I say to Mr. Trump, from the bottom of my heart ... Mr. Trump, we are not going backwards in terms of bigotry, we are going to go forward in creating a non-discriminatory society," Sanders said during his speech and Q&A at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
 
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During his talk, the Vermont senator also said that he saw some room for cooperation between the GOP and the Democrats, particularly when it comes to strengthening the middle class. 
 
Sanders argued that Trump should be held accountable for his promises to support the struggling working families in America.
 
"Mr. Trump said a whole lot of things, a whole lot of things and sometimes I think they would just come off the top of his head. Toward the end of the campaign he was actually using the term that many Democrats use. He was saying that he was going to be the champion of the American working class," said Sanders.
 
"We have a list of everything that you said. And we are going to hold you to account," he said to applause, ticking off Trump's talk of scrutinizing trade deals, ensuring paid maternity leave and raising the minimum wage.
 
According to Sanders, Trump has been able to tap into fears and frustrations of many ordinary Americans who have been largely ignored by the mainstream media.
 
"What Mr. Trump said and talked about, is something that the pundits here in Washington have not a clue about and the corporate media has a very little understanding about. And that is, what he understood to be true — and it is true — is despite the fact that today we are far, far better off economically after eight years of Obama, than we were when Bush left office ... there is another reality," he said.
 
"All across this country there are millions and millions of decent, good people, who are frightened about the world that they are living in," Sanders added.
 
"The question that will be resolved pretty quickly is whether or not everything that he was saying to the working families of this country was hypocrisy, was dishonesty or whether he was sincere — and we will find out soon enough," the former presidential candidate said.
 
Following the tough loss of the Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWatergate’s John Dean: Nixon would tell Trump 'he's going too far' Senate Homeland Security chairman requests briefing on Ivanka Trump emails House GOP to hold hearing into DOJ’s probe of Clinton Foundation MORE, Sanders has been consistent in his message to work together with Trump on some of his political promises but reject his controversial rhetoric.
 
On Wednesday, Sanders also echoed his earlier criticism of Trump's decision to appoint Stephen Bannon, the former executive of Breitbart, as chief strategist, stating that the president-elect "should not have a racist at his side."
 
Ben Kamisar contributed to this report.