Bernie Sanders in Cedar Rapids: “best candidate to beat Trump”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, appeared on a Political Party Live podcast on Friday, where he condemned President Donald Trump and called himself the "best candidate" to beat him.

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Bernie Sanders in Cedar Rapids: “best candidate to beat Trump”

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT answers a question during a Political Party Live event at the Sinclair Auditorium in Cedar Rapids on Friday, June 7, 2019. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT answers a question during a Political Party Live event at the Sinclair Auditorium in Cedar Rapids on Friday, June 7, 2019. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT answers a question during a Political Party Live event at the Sinclair Auditorium in Cedar Rapids on Friday, June 7, 2019. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT answers a question during a Political Party Live event at the Sinclair Auditorium in Cedar Rapids on Friday, June 7, 2019. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Julia Shanahan, Politics Reporter

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT., 2020 Democratic presidential-nomination candidate, appeared on a Political Party Live podcast on Friday, saying he is the “best candidate” among the other 22 Democratic candidates to beat President Donald Trump.

“In order to beat Trump, we are going to need a campaign of enthusiasm, of excitement, a campaign that brings out an enormously large voter turnout, and I think our campaign is the kind of campaign that does that,” Sanders said. “We are a campaign that I think can energize young people.”

Sanders called the younger generation one of the most progressive in recent history, and said that if younger people turned out to vote a higher rate, they could “transform” the U.S.

This is Sanders’ second campaign for U.S. President. In 2016, Sanders had the highest favorability among young voters than Democrat Hillary Clinton and Trump combined.

Political Party Live is an Iowa-based podcast following 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls through the Cedar Rapids area. Friday’s podcast was at COE College in Cedar Rapids. One of the main goals of the podcast is to reach young voters in Iowa, and Sanders appeared on the fifth episode in the series.

Sanders, a well-known progressive politician, highlighted issues like legalizing marijuana as a way of criminal-justice reform and implementing universal health care. One of the podcasts co-hosts said Sanders helped bring progressive issues to the forefront of Democratic politics.

“It costs more money to lock someone up in Iowa than it does to send someone to the University of Iowa,” said Sanders, saying that if he were elected, he would try to reduce the number of incarcerated individuals in the U.S.

Sanders said in order to pass a budget that would support his policies, he would need an “unprecedented grassroots movement,” saying change always happens from the “bottom on up.”

“I would do things a little differently than other presidents,” Sanders said.

Sanders condemned Trump on multiple fronts, calling him racist, xenophobic, and a pathological liar. He said Trump is dividing the country based on the color of people’s skin, and that his tax policies have only benefited wealthy Americans.

Sanders said that the U.S. House of Representatives should begin looking into an impeachment process for Trump, but cannot lose sight on the needs of the American people.

Andrew Almoayyed, Cedar Rapids resident, said he caucused for Sanders in 2016, but will support the candidate who he feels is best suited to beat Trump in 2020.

“We’re in uncharted territory with Donald Trump as our president,” Almoayyed said.

Almoayyed said universal health care is an important issue for him in this election, and that Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is standing out to him so far.

Former Democratic Congressional candidate from Iowa’s fourth district, JD Scholten, spoke on the podcast prior to Sanders, and said he is “definitely thinking about running again.” Sanders helped campaign for Scholten in 2018 at Iowa State University.

Sanders will stop in Cedar Rapids again on Sunday, June 9, to attend the Hall of Fame Celebration hosted by the Democratic Party of Iowa. Sanders will march with striking McDonald’s workers on Sunday to rally for a higher minimum wage and protest sexual harassment and violence in the workplace.

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