During a wide-ranging interview over the weekend, Bernie Sanders told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he thought Hillary Clinton was “jumping the gun” when she said recently that she was undoubtedly going to be the Democratic nominee.
Sanders pointed to his recent victories in Oregon, West Virginia and Indiana as evidence that Clinton was getting ahead of herself and added, “We're going to have to do very, very, very well in the remaining nine contests. I think we have a shot.”
He needs to win 67 percent of the remaining pledged delegates to pull ahead of Clinton on that front.
A new ABC News poll showed that a whopping 20 percent of Sanders’ supporters said they would back the Republican presumptive nominee over Clinton. Stephanopoulos asked Sanders if, should he not secure the nomination, he was confident he could persuade his supporters to back Clinton over Donald Trump. Sanders argued that it was incumbent on Clinton to win over his supporters.
“It is the function of every candidate — Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump — to reach out to the American people and make the case why they should be supported,” he said. The underdog candidate said that only if Clinton came on board with a number of his policy proposals, ranging from climate change to health care, did he believe his supporters would shift their allegiance to her.
“I have every confidence that if Hillary Clinton is prepared to stand up to the greed of corporate America and Wall Street, is prepared to be really strong on the issue of climate change, support, as I do, a tax on carbon ... if she is strong on those issues, yeah, I think she will win and win by a large vote,” he said. “But if she is not, she’s going to have her problems.”
Sanders again vowed to fight for a progressive platform for the Democratic Party at its national convention this July in Philadelphia. Several organizations backing the senator have filed permits for rallies and protests, which Sanders defended, despite fears that the situation could get unruly after the chaotic scene that erupted at the Nevada state convention last week between Sanders’ supporters and party officials.
“Do people in Philadelphia, going to Philadelphia or any place else in America have the right to demonstrate, have the right to express their concerns? I thought that that was what the First Amendment of the Constitution was about,” Sanders said. “We’re not encouraging anybody ... but of course, people have the right to peacefully assemble and make their views heard.”