Bernie Sanders had a message for his supporters disappointed that he had endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“What I say is absolutely imperative for this country, that Donald Trump not be elected president of the United States,” Sanders said Wednesday on Good Morning America.
He said Americans face too many important issues to risk handing over the White House to the real estate developer and former reality TV star.
“At a time when this country has enormous crises, we do not and cannot have a man with Trump’s temperament with the nuclear code and running this country,” Sanders said.
The Vermont senator said the choice between Clinton and Trump was clear.
“It’s not about the lesser of two evils,” Sanders said. “If you look at issue by issue, we have Hillary Clinton, who wants to significantly raise the minimum wage, because it’s got millions of workers in this country working at starvation wages. Donald Trump wants to allow states to have the right to do away with the concept of the minimum wage — people could be working for five bucks an hour.”
He said Clinton shared his views on expanding access to health care and making colleges and universities tuition-free for families who earn $125,000 or less, while Trump has vowed to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.
“Trump does not even believe what the entire scientific community is telling us about climate change,” Sanders said.
Sanders said he was confident his supporters would back Clinton after comparing her positions to Trump, who he said wants to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, but he refused to say whether he would consider a vice presidential run.
“That issue has not been raised yet, and I doubt that that will happen,” he said.
“Right now, what my job is to do to make sure that Hillary Clinton is elected president, that we defeat Trump, that we come up with a set of principles and an agenda that speaks to the needs of working families,” Sanders said. “I’m very proud, by the way, that over the last couple of weeks, as you may know, that the Democratic platform now is the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”
Sanders said his former Democratic rival shared his concerns about the issues facing working Americans, and he was confident her message would appeal to voters.
“I think what Secretary Clinton has to do is get around the country and contrast her views to Donald Trump’s,” he said. “This is not a beauty contest between Trump and Hillary Clinton, this is the fact that the middle class in this country is in trouble.”
Host George Stephanopoulos asked Sanders whether he thought Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was out of bounds for her strong criticism of Trump, which included a threat to move to New Zealand if he was elected.
“I agree with what Justice Ginsburg said,” Sanders said. “I think Trump is a total opportunist. I do not believe anything that comes out of his mouth, because I think the record is quite clear that he lies just a whole lot of the time.”
Watch the entire interview posted online by Good Morning America: