A Warning: Why Team Trump Has Called Bernie Sanders Their “Ideal” Opponent

AP 080103025021

You head to your caucus next week with the fate of our democracy on the line and an important role to play in determining the Democratic presidential nominee. Yet because of media negligence and the strategic calculation of his rivals, you have not seen much real exploration of the politically toxic background and ideas of the current polling leader in Iowa and a national co-frontrunner.

Before you vote, we urge you to consider at least a few of the many things in Bernie Sanders’ long record in public life that make him the Trump team’s “ideal Democratic opponent.”

Sanders’ record makes him the easiest target for Trump to beat. 

It doesn’t take professional opposition researchers to find things in Sanders’ past that would arm the Trump team with the political equivalent of nuclear weapons. All you have to do is #GoogleBernie.

Trump’s team would do extraordinary damage by exposing voters to Bernie’s controversial background. Of course, Trump will lie about any Democratic nominee, but with Bernie, much of what he’d say would be easily backed up. When political charges are supported by evidence, they are very tough to combat.

They will call him a socialist.

  • Bernie has said many times, including in political debates: “I am a socialist; of course, I am a socialist…” And he supported the Socialist candidate for president in 1980 and 1984.

They will say that he thinks the middle class wants to pay more in taxes.

  • Bernie said on CNN last year that Americans would be “delighted to pay more in taxes” to fund his huge new government programs.

They will say he’s backed anti-American radicals.

They will say that Sanders has proposed abolishing the US military.

  • Bernie ran for office under the banner of a party that called for abolition of the military and a “system of local citizen militias and Coast Guard [that] would provide our nation with ample protection and also protect us from the imperialist impulses of our leaders.”

They will say he sided with Iran during the hostage crisis.

  • Bernie’s Socialist Worker’s Party, in the middle of the 1980 hostage crisis, “called for… ‘solidarity’ with the revolutionary regimes in Iran, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Cuba.”

They will say he’s written truly offensive and crazy things.

  • Bernie wrote, in an essay for the Vermont Freeman: “The manner in which you bring up your daughter with regard to sexual attitudes may very well determine whether or not she will develop breast cancer...”

Sanders’ positions will repel swing voters in battleground states.

His spending proposals are so huge that he has no idea what they cost – or how high taxes would have to get to pay for them.

  • When asked if his plans would cost upwards of $60 trillion in new spending, Sanders said “you don’t know – nobody knows” the real price tag. And while he has pledged to raise middle-class taxes, he also has no idea how high they’d go.

Sanders’ Medicare for All is the only way Democrats can lose to Trump on health care. Expanding the ACA is popular – his plan is not.

  • Support for Sanders’ health plan has plummeted in the last year – it’s now 44% in favor, 53% opposed. And that is before Republicans run ads about its $34 trillion price tag, massive middle-class tax increases, and elimination of all private insurance.
  • His health care plan falls $13.4 trillion short (adding that much to the deficit), says one of the most respected, non-partisan budget analysis organizations in America.
  • Recent polling shows that Medicare for All is unpopular among swing voters in the crucial Blue Wall states where the election will be won or lost. And it cost Democrats who ran on it in the midterms an average of five points.

Vulnerable Democrats would be forced to try to run away from the Sanders agenda, but most would fail, and many would lose.

  • Imagine Iowa Democratic candidates having to run this year on an agenda that includes tens of trillions in new spending, more than doubling the size of the federal government. They would also have to defend the largest tax increase since WWII on the middle class and small business.

Committed Democrats, like us, would vote for Sanders against Trump. But no Democrat remotely as far left as Sanders has ever won the presidency, and swing voters in crucial states would reject the radicalism of Sanders' background and ideas.

No doubt, Sanders and his supporters will impugn our motives rather than respond to the facts in this memo. But it’s not about us; it’s about him. If Bernie Sanders becomes the nominee, Trump’s odds of winning a second term go up dramatically, which is why Team Trump has labeled him their “ideal” nominee.

Iowa Democrats: Please don’t do what Trump wants you to do.

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