It’s looking increasingly likely that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump will hold an unusual presidential debate — thanks to an assist by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
Sanders suggested the debate, which he wants to be held in California ahead of the state’s June 7 Democratic primary, and Kimmel asked Trump whether he’d be willing to go for it during an appearance Wednesday on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Trump said he would do it, and Sanders appeared Thursday night on Kimmel’s talk show, where he offered some thanks to the host.
“You made it possible for us to have a very interesting debate about two guys who look at the world very, very differently,” Sanders told Kimmel.
Sanders said he hoped to hold the debate at “some big stadium here in California,” and added that Kimmel’s network, ABC, had already contacted his campaign about televising the event.
The Vermont senator said the debate against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee would essentially replace a debate he’d expected to have against Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner.
“We had reached an agreement for a number of debates, including one in California, (but) unfortunately — and, I think, not appropriately, Secretary Clinton decided not to go forward,” Sanders said, adding that her decision frustrated him. “First of all, it’s kind of insulting to the people in the largest state in the United States of America not to come forward and talk about the issues, serious issues, that impact the state and impact the country, so (I’m) disappointed that she chose not to come forward.”
Kimmel showed him a clip of Clinton telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that she “will be the nominee for my party — that is already done, in effect,” and asked Sanders if her comments made him angry.
“Just a tinge (of) arrogance there, I think,” Sanders said. “Unfortunately, the people of Indiana a couple of weeks ago, the people of West Virginia, the people of Oregon who gave us a pretty good victory, don’t quite agree with Secretary Clinton’s assessment, and we split Kentucky, and I kind of think that on June 7 people of California will have a message for Secretary Clinton: Don’t count your chickens.”
Sanders mapped out what he believes is a path to winning the Democratic presidential nomination.
“Here’s where we are, there’s some confusion about this,” he said. “In terms of pledged delegates, which I call the real delegates that you win by elections, we’re at 46 percent. So we’re behind, (and) that means we’re going to have to do really, really well in this state, where you have the most delegates up for grabs, and very well in the five states that are coming up on June 7. There are three other non-states, Washington, D.C., and two others, as well. We’re going to have to do really, really well to win the majority of pledged delegates.”
“In terms of super delegates, we are way, way behind,” Sanders said. “There were 400 super delegates who announced their support for Secretary Clinton before anyone else was in the race, before the first ballot was cast, and I think that is just patently absurd and undemocratic — and kind of dumb, in the sense that, when you make that judgement, you want to know how the campaign is going, who is the strongest candidate. Turns out that in virtually every single national poll and in every single state poll, Bernie Sanders does, often, a lot better against Donald Trump than does Hillary Clinton.”
He cited two recent national polls suggesting that voters preferred him more strongly than Clinton over Trump, and he said the Democratic Party should consider those types of polls in selecting its presidential nominee.
“I think if the Democrats want a candidate who is most likely to defeat Trump and beat him badly, I think you’re looking at the guy,” he said.
Watch the entire segment posted online by Jimmy Kimmel Live: