Shortly after speaking to supporters at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders started watching Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate. Shortly after the GOP debate began, Senator Sanders’ Twitter account started responding to what Bernie’s potential opponents were saying. While he had a direct message for two of the candidates — billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Senator Marco Rubio — most of his comments were directed at the GOP party in general. As a self-proclaimed democratic-socialist, there aren’t a lot of issues that Bernie Sanders and the GOP agree on.
It’s virtually impossible these days for any presidential candidate — whether Democrat, Republican or Independent — to avoid responding to questions about Donald Trump. The moderators of Thursday night’s debate — Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo of the Fox Business Network — perpetuated that trend by asking the candidates what they thought about Trump’s idea of banning all Muslims from entering the United States. An idea that was initially considered crass enough that many assumed would it would end Trump’s campaign was now being used at a GOP debate.
As the GOP candidates gave their responses to Trump’s proposal on television, Bernie Sanders Tweeted his response to Trump’s idea.
I have a message for Donald Trump: No, we’re not going to hate Latinos or Muslims. We are going to stand together. #GOPDebate— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 15, 2016
In response to Trump’s popularity, Bernie Sanders has made this point over and over. As long as the real estate mogul is in the running, it seems like Sanders will be forced to continue to echo this refrain.
Later in the debate, Marco Rubio attacked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for supposedly supporting Planned Parenthood in the past. Planned Parenthood has been a key talking point for candidates on both sides of the aisle. Last week, Planned Parenthood gave Hillary Clinton the organization’s first ever endorsement of a candidate during the primary elections. Many Planned Parenthood supporters were upset about the endorsement. As Liberals Unite documented, many of those who had donated to Planned Parenthood in the past were moving those donations to the Bernie Sanders campaign.
At the GOP debate, however, having the endorsement of Planned Parenthood could mean the end of your career as a Republican. When Rubio accused Christie of supporting the organization, as detailed by the International Business Times, the Bernie Sanders Twitter account had a message for Senator Rubio directly.
Believing that health care is a right and not a privilege — and that Planned Parenthood helps provide many of those services to those who couldn’t afford it otherwise — Sanders would have no interest in defunding Planned Parenthood, if he were elected president.
Notably receiving far less media coverage than Hillary, many seem to think that the Sanders campaign doesn’t have the momentum to win the Democratic nomination or that Sanders could defeat Donald Trump or Ted Cruz if selected. In response to that sentiment, the Bernie Sanders Twitter account shared a graphic that displayed information from a poll taken last month by Quinnipiac University about the possibility of Bernie Sanders against Republican candidates.
The rhetoric about social programs continued when the GOP debate began talking about cuts to Social Security. At this point, without naming any names, the Sanders account had a series of tweets explaining the Vermont Senator’s position on expanding Social Security.
Republicans on stage claim Social Security is going broke. They are dead wrong. #GOPDebate— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 15, 2016
Social Security has a $2.8 trillion surplus. It can pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 19 years. #GOPDebate— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 15, 2016
And that was how Bernie Sanders — or at least his Twitter account — ended his response to the most recent GOP debate. Sanders will meet Hillary Clinton and Mark O’Malley Saturday night for the next Democratic debate.
[Image credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images]