Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders acknowledged on Sunday he is more liberal than Joe Biden but nevertheless expressed belief that Biden could be the “most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”
Sanders, a self-described “Democratic Socialist” and the former frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, made the comments on NBC’s Meet the Press after being asked if he was disappointed the party platform barely mentioned Medicare For All – something Sanders champions.
“I am not the candidate, so my views are not the dominant views,” said Sanders, a senator from Vermont.
But Sanders pointed to “Unity Task Force” recommendations that were made in July by allies of Biden and Sanders. The document was posted on Biden’s official campaign website and lists areas of agreement. The document addresses climate change, the economy, criminal justice, education, immigration and health care.
“The people on those task forces worked very, very hard,” Sanders said. “And I'm not here to tell you, as a strong advocate for Medicare For All, that we got everything we wanted. We surely did not. But I think if people look at the outcome of those task forces, they'll find the reality that if those task force proposals are implemented – you know what? – Joe Biden will become the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And that, in this moment, is what we need.”
Former Secretary of State John Kerry and current Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were co-chairs of the Task Force.
The task force recommendations support a public option in the Affordable Care Act and a goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, including “eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035.”
The 110-page document also calls for taxpayer funding of abortion and restoration of “federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”
“Democrats oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to women’s reproductive rights, including repealing the Hyde Amendment, and will work to protect and codify Roe v. Wade,” the document says. The Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision that prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Justin Sullivan/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.