During a debate in South Carolina on Tuesday evening, all the democratic candidates attacked Bernie Sanders, considered too radical to beat Donald Trump. The Socialist, he argued for a revolutionary program that galvanizes the electorate.
To identify the favorite of an election, it suffices to observe which candidate suffers the most attacks. On Tuesday, February 25, Bernie Sanders was no exception. The socialist, champion of a “political revolution” for over 40 years, was criticized by all his competitors without exception during the democratic debate organized in Charleston, South Carolina, a state whose primary will be held on Saturday.
First argument: its program – universal health insurance for all, a large increase in the minimum wage, university and free creches, etc. – is unrealistic. This is at least the opinion of the most moderate candidates. On the health front, “Americans don’t follow you on spending $ 60 trillion,” argued Amy Klobuchar. The Minnesota senator mocked Bernie Sanders’ “false promises” good only to be stuck “on a sticker on the back of a car”.
Pete Buttigieg, an ex-mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also laughed at the imprecise figures put forward by the septuagenarian to finance his reforms. “”All of this leads to the re-election of Donald Trump,” he said. The youngest candidate recalled that the 40 Democrats elected in 2018 to the House of Representatives, who enabled the party to regain its majority, did not “campaign” on the platform of the socialist.
The latter, accustomed to these criticisms, swept them away, referring to the measures implemented in other Western countries: “Is facilitating access to health care a radical idea? Raising the minimum wage or access radical housing ideas? Raising billionaire taxes, is that a radical idea? ” Bernie Sanders even quoted Nelson Mandela at the end of the debate to support his point: “It always seems impossible, until we do it.”
Determined, the centrist candidates wanted to confront Bernie Sanders on the Cuban dossier. The Vermont senator recently praised the literacy campaign initiated under Fidel Castro in Cuba. “I have opposed authoritarianism all over the world,” he defended Tuesday evening. “There is a dictatorship in Cuba. I have only said what Barack Obama has already said, namely that Cuba has made progress in the educational field,” he justified himself.
He did not convince his rivals. “We will not be able to win complicated races in the House and the Senate if the candidates have to explain why the one that the Democratic Party has invested urges to recognize the good sides of the Castro regime,” warned Pete Buttigieg.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 26, 2020
The gun issue
Joe Biden, a favorite in South Carolina after failures in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, chose the angle of attack of the firearms. If there is one issue on which Bernie Sanders, a senator from a state with a lot of hunters, has not always been radical, this is it. The former vice-president of Barack Obama reminded him of his vote, in 2005, of an arms trade law. “My friend on my right offered arms manufacturers total immunity,” he said. “It was a bad vote,” said Bernie Sanders, who today boasted of being frowned upon by the pro-arms lobby, the NRA.
Even Elizabeth Warren, the only one to be more or less aligned with the progressive proposals of her “friend”, did not spare him. “Bernie and I agree on a lot of things, but I think I would make a better president than him,” she said. The reason? His attention to detail and his ability to dig deeper: “Both Bernie and I want the advent of public health insurance for all. But Bernie’s plan does not explain how to get there. I looked at the question, I did the job and then Bernie’s team attacked me. ”
Being a progressive means actually making progress. I’m the only one in this race who has beaten the NRA nationally and passed real gun safety reform — and I’ll do it again as president. #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/i5Lq1isGG5
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 26, 2020
Can Sanders beat Trump?
The argument of eligibility came up several times on the stage of the debate. Billionaire Tom Steyer, third in polls in South Carolina but unlikely elsewhere, has dismissed back-to-back socialist Bernie Sanders and ex-Republican Michael Bloomberg. According to him, going to one or another of these “extremes” can only lead to the re-election of Donald Trump.
For billionaire Michael Bloomberg, precisely, the failure of Bernie Sanders against the current president is written in advance. “We will elect Bernie and Bernie will lose to Donald Trump. The House, the Senate and part of the local Chambers will become republican”, he warned, fearing a “catastrophe” with the appointment of conservative judges for the ” Next 20 to 30 years.”
Bernie Sanders recalled that most polls gave him the winner against the current White House tenant. He believes instead that it is his revolutionary side that galvanizes the troops. “To beat Donald Trump, you need a campaign full of energy and excitement, you have to get the biggest participation in American history,” he said, asking young voters to rush to the polls. like never before “.
The poison of division
The fact remains that if the moderate and progressive camps cannot agree, it is difficult to imagine a collective impetus for the candidacy of the socialist. “If we spend the next four months tearing ourselves apart, we are going to see Donald Trump tearing the country apart for additional years,” observed Amy Klobuchar, who herself took part in the criticism.
A few minutes after the end of the debate, the Sanders camp seemed ready for confrontation: “It is us against the damned political establishment as a whole”, could we read in an email sent to the supporters of the socialist. The road to the nomination will belong.