Bernie Sanders vows to go to 'war with white nationalism and racism' as president

Bernie Sanders vows to go to 'war with white nationalism and racism' as president
© Getty Images

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Krystal Ball calls on Sanders to follow Yang's lead on war on drugs Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all MORE (I-Vt.) on Saturday invoked the Holocaust while vowing to go to war against white nationalism and racism if he wins the 2020 presidential election. 

"I'm Jewish, my family came from Poland. My father's whole family was wiped out by Hitler and his white nationalism," Sanders said while speaking at the Young Leader's Conference in Atlanta. "Too many people have fought over the years, too many people have died against racism to let it resurface and flourish in America."

"We will go to war with nationalism and racism in every aspect of our lives," Sanders added, before arguing that hate crimes perpetrated on the basis of race should be viewed as domestic terrorism. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"When we combat white nationalism and when we combat racism, we are going use all the laws in our power, including executive orders in every area to make certain that we end the discrimination which now exists," Sanders added. 

The comments come amid a presidential campaign in which Sanders and several other Democratic candidates have repeatedly condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE as a racist. 

They also follow a deadly mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. The suspected gunman reportedly shared a racist manifesto describing an "invasion" of Hispanic people before carrying out the attack, language that many candidates have linked to Trump's own rhetoric. 

Sanders acknowledged last week that Trump doesn't want to see anyone get shot, but he argued that the president has created a climate for attacks like the one in El Paso. 

“He is creating the kind of divisiveness in this nation that is the last thing that we should be doing,” Sanders said in an interview on CBS's "Face The Nation." “He creates the climate, but do I think that he wants to see somebody get shot? Absolutely not.”

In prepared remarks following the shooting, Trump called on the nation to condemn bigotry, hate and white supremacy. 

Separately, FBI Director Christopher Wray said last month that the agency has made about 100 domestic terrorism-related arrests since October, with the majority tied to white supremacy.