Bernie Sanders vowed he would defeat Donald Trump should the two anti-establishment candidates face off in the presidential election.
The Vermont senator appeared Tuesday on “The Nightly Show,” where host Larry Wilmore asked him to comment on Trump’s use of the word “schlong” as a verb to insult Hillary Clinton.
“I think you’ll have to ask Donald Trump for an explanation for that,” Sanders said. “I don’t know the answer to that. I have yet to recover from Trump’s shock that women go to the bathroom. I’m still recovering from that, so ‘schlonged,’ I haven’t figured out yet.”
Even so, Wilmore asked Sanders if he would “schlong” Trump if both men won their parties’ nomination.
“Let me say, we will beat him badly,” Sanders said. “How’s that?”
Sanders entered the stage to prolonged cheers from the studio audience, and Wilmore asked the senator if he’d had anything to do with anti-Trump messages written in the sky above last weekend’s Rose Bowl Parade.
“I don’t have to spend money to make Donald Trump look dumb — he does it all by himself,” Sanders said.
The Democratic candidate said he strongly supported President Barack Obama’s executive action on gun violence, saying that was necessary to overcome Republican intransigence on an issue that voters of both parties broadly agree on.
“We’re not getting any cooperation from the Republicans, no matter how many horrific mass shootings we see,” Sanders said. “I think the most important thing we have to do now is to expand and improve the instant background check. What the president is trying to do now is deal with the so-called gun show loophole.”
He said many of his constituents in Vermont own and use guns, but he said they understand that guns are dangerous tools that can easily be misused.
“People hunt and they do outdoor things — that’s what we do,” Sanders said. “But the vast majority of the people understand, in my state, and I think around the country, that it’s imperative that we do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. Criminals (and) people who are mentally unstable should not own a gun. That’s my view, and there is a broad consensus around that.”
Sanders and Wilmore agreed that the Black Lives Matters movement was not nearly as controversial and divisive as the media often suggested.
“I think white people are as appalled as African-Americans and Latinos in seeing what we’re seeing on television, and that is unarmed people being killed while they’re in police custody,” Sanders said.
He outlined some criminal justice reforms he would push as president to reduce police violence.
“The first, and maybe most, important is to make sure that if a police officer breaks the law, that officer — like any other public official — must be held accountable,” Sanders said. “Other things that we have to do is demilitarize many of our local police departments. We have to make police departments look like the communities they serve, in terms of diversity. What appalls me is that we have more people in jail today than any other country on Earth — more than China, 2.2 million people — and that’s why we need real criminal justice reform. We’ve got to make sure that kids have jobs and education, rather than hanging out on street corners unemployed.”
Watch the entire extended interview with Sanders posted online by Comedy Central: