Bernie Sanders may have come up short in the Democratic primary, but the Vermont Senator isn’t giving up on his plan to fight for progressive ideas at this month’s Democratic National Convention.
Sanders already earned a number of concessions from the party this summer, with some allies named to important committees in the Democratic National Committee’s convention, including the drafting committee, which puts together the party’s platform of priorities that will shape November’s election.
But even though the draft of the party’s platform passed with a unanimous vote, Sanders still wants to see changes.
As Politico noted, Sanders is still fighting for his ideas and hopes to shape the final draft of the platform.
“So far, Sanders and his team have locked up draft policy wins on language for abolishing the death penalty, expanding Social Security through raising the cap on how much Americans earning $250,000 or more pay to expand benefits, and breaking up the country’s largest banks. But that’s not everything on Sanders’ lengthy priority list, so the senator and his allies are vowing to keep pushing hard.”
Bernie Sanders has laid out these battles to supporters, sending an email on Thursday titled “We’re going to the convention” in which he vowed to “take our political revolution into the halls of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.” Sanders said he will continue to fight for a $15 minimum wage, a ban on fracking, and opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The TPP opposition is one of the major points for Bernie Sanders as he prepares for his convention battle. His policy director, Warren Gunnels, said Sanders wants the party to make its opposition to the trade deal crystal clear.
“We want to make that clear in the Democratic Party platform. That the TPP should not receive a vote in the lame-duck session and beyond,” Gunnels told Politico. “We just sent out a petition to our supporters and the American people asking that they sign that petition in support of that amendment. That’s what we’re focused on right now. But I do want to emphasize that we won some very important victories.”
There could still be more battles with Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Bill McKibben, a Sanders member of the drafting committee, wrote in an opinion piece for Politico that the Clinton team “has been unwilling to commit to delivering specifics about fundamental change in America.”
“The Clinton campaign is at this point rhetorically committed to taking on our worst problems, but not willing to say how,” McKibben wrote. “Which is the slightly cynical way politicians have addressed issues for too long — and just the kind of slickness that the straightforward Sanders campaign rejected.”
Despite growing calls on him to drop out of the race, Bernie Sanders has remained steadfast to his vow to stay in until the convention later this month. In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Sanders said he would not be suspending his campaign and noted that he is doing everything he can to “address the major crises facing working families in this country.”
There have been signs that Bernie Sanders will not take the fight beyond an attempt to shape the Democratic Party’s platform. While there have been some accusations that he is aiming to play spoiler in November’s race, Sanders has said repeatedly that defeating Donald Trump is a major priority. And there are signs that he could be growing closer to an official endorsement of Hillary Clinton, with Vice President Joe Biden even saying this week that Sanders said he will eventually give Clinton his endorsement.
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