Sanders: America doesn't want 'compulsively dishonest' and 'bully' president 

Sanders: America doesn't want 'compulsively dishonest' and 'bully' president 
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Trump team pounces on Biden gaffes The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election Warren urges investment in child care workers amid pandemic MORE (I-Vt.) knocked President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE as "compulsively dishonest" and a "bully" during his response to the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

"The American people do not want a president who is compulsively dishonest, who is a bully, who actively represents the interests of the billionaire class, who is anti-science, and who is trying to divide us up based on the color of our skin, our nation of origin, our religion, our gender, or our sexual orientation," Sanders said.

Sanders added that this "is not what the American people want. And that reality is the bad news that we have to deal with."

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Sanders, an independent senator who caucuses with Senate Democrats, gave his own response separate from the former Democratic response given by Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.).

In his first State of the Union address, Trump touted his agenda, linking economic growth to the passage of the Republican tax bill.

But Sanders took aim at Trump’s claims, saying the president had overseen the lowest level of job creation since 2010 and that few American workers have seen a bonus or raise because of the GOP tax bill.

“What Trump also forgot to tell you is that while the Walton family of Walmart, the wealthiest family in America, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the wealthiest person in this country, have never had it so good, many thousands of their employees are forced onto Medicaid, food stamps, and public housing because of the obscenely low wages they are paid,” he said.

He also knocked Trump over issues that he didn’t bring up in the State of the Union, including climate change, what Sanders called a “retirement crisis” as well as Russia and its interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“How do you not talk about that unless, perhaps, you have a very special relationship with Mr. Putin?” Sanders asked.

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Sanders comments came a day after the Trump administration declined to implement new sanctions on Russia authorized by bipartisan legislation.

In his response, Sanders also echoed his 2016 presidential campaign, saying the country is heading toward a "political revolution," which he called "long overdue."

"The truth is that there is a lot of good news out there as well. It’s not just that so many of our people disagree with Trump’s policies, temperament, and behavior. It is that the vast majority of our people have a very different vision for the future of our country than what Trump and the Republican leadership are giving us," Sanders said.

Sanders, who is reportedly talking to advisers about a 2020 presidential run, noted the many 2018 midterm candidates who are embracing a "progressive agenda" including support for single-payer health care, a signature issue for Sanders.

“I want to offer a vision of where we should go as a nation which is far different than the divisiveness, dishonesty, and racism coming from the Trump Administration over the past year,” he said.

The Vermont senator also railed against conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, whose network plans to spend $400 million to boost Republicans in the 2018 midterms.

Sanders said progressive have the support to counter their push.

“They have the money, an unlimited amount of money,” Sanders said. “But we have the people, and when ordinary people stand up and fight for justice, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.”

Democrats have seen a flood of candidates interested in running for office, with signs suggesting a potential wave election.

Sanders's speech, streamed over social media, briefly ran into technical difficulties.

"Well as they say technology is great when it works,” Sanders joked as the speech started.

This story was updated at 11:38 p.m.