Bernie Sanders top aide discusses 2020

Senator Bernie Sanders' former campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, sits down with ABC News to talk about his new book and why he thinks the Vermont independent should run again.
14:56 | 05/17/18

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Transcript for Bernie Sanders top aide discusses 2020
So we're joined now by Vermont senator Bernie Sanders longtime eat and former presidential campaign. Manager Jeff Weaver thanks for joining active in new book out how Bernie one he spent most the book looking back. We're calling sort of key moments of the 26 campaign but you and a book. Looking to tight money really encouraging a second run from the senator so let's start at the end. Is senator Sanders running for president. He hasn't decided whether he's running it or not Mary Alice. He's not said yes but he is not that notes I think doors opened and there are some of us would like to see him. Very clearly any New Year's Day is ninety done a lot of them yes but there's now nothing else you can sort of tell us mix of news here where you know that I'm I'm making as much news as it possibly house I think. GAAP look the you know that the question is is who can be trump and 120. How we can put together type of coalition that can take this country back from the folks who have taken it over. And I think that's what the senators went. Looking back to try sixteen you argue that he would have won that you really dismissed any criticism that the campaign might have hurt Hillary Clinton's campaign. In fact you had this lion. To the extent our campaign bears any responsibility for Trump's victory it's that we did not defeat Hillary Clinton. How could you possibly be so sure that he would have won I mean you have no idea look at it happens. In the fall well let me let me just say this Mary -- to that so a few things he. 2015 on. That Bernie Sanders was the stronger candidate against. Virtually every Republican and certainly against trump Trump's mar trump some pollsters last couple months has said. He was certain that Bernie Sanders would have one. And as an empirical matter not to take anything away from a hard work of the people who work for Secretary Clinton. But she did not win and so. For a chance sanders' chances of winning. In Berkeley or were as good as hers or better. So the title of your book is. How Bernie one's not if he won an or or that he will win in the future you take is that as the press as the premise that he did we. What did he win he he at this point there's still look the a battle raging inside the Democratic Party and Bernie says actually isn't even a member of the Democratic Party. Well I was so let me let me say this so he did win when he started a campaign. In use at 3% in the polls issues he was talking about Medicare for all. Free tuition at public colleges and universities a fifteen dollar minimum wage issues like considered fringe issues. Would no support of the Democratic Party was firmly in the hands of those or mow more modern U liberal faction. And what we saw during the campaign really was an explosion of grassroots support for the ideas he was bringing forward and now you look at the Democratic Party platform. A most of those things are trying to the Democratic Party platform Medicare for all is not yet but I think it's and will be. If you look at the people who were generally talked about his possible presidential contenders. A virtually all of them have I have adopted a Medicare for all platform. Are talking about things like fifteen dollar minimum wage ME fifteen dollar minimum wage is really an article of faith in Democratic Party now. People talking about how to make college more formal including free tuition at public colleges and universities. In for and frankly that was a position that Hillary Clinton largely adopted at the end of the campaign. You know as we discussed in the book of Bernie and us Secretary Clinton met at the end of the campaign and talked about a number of policy priorities and that was one a where they really came together and and adopted a joint. A position and you've seen over Ireland making strides on this New York State making strides on this other places making strides in this. So Bernie Sanders really did win and if you look at the coverage of of yesterday's primaries are primaries in Pennsylvania and around the country. You know one strike just reds that it was a very bad horrible terrible day to be a democratic moderate because candidates were winning. All across the country. Who were adopting positions that looked very similar to those that Bernie Sanders was advocating 12016. And which will would have been considered far out a policies. Before and. I wanna especially about those primaries as you're right there's been some undeniable big successes for progressives maybe Bernie Sanders styles them Democrats or winning a number primaries overcoming. Odds spending disadvantages against more establishment. Candidates the the flip side to that and you're Christian Democrats are watching all the time as you need people to look like districts and if you look like. You look at it for example the the progressive challenger in Nebraska in the Omaha based district you had. A man who run the that it and one that seat in the past one by a very close margin now lost the primary. Or are you confident that the road to the majority for Democrats not party purity to lords and majority runs through Bernie Sanders style progresses. Yeah I don't really have a lot of interest in party purity for frankly. But the truth of the matter is Mary Alice knows this because she was on the road throughout the 2016 campaign. That one of the things Bernie Sanders did win it was the geography primary if you look at. A rural parts of this country to look at places where Democrats are. Traditionally viewed as more conservative in places like Nebraska frankly but the primary different no that's right but look in many husbands are open primaries. Embrace interested well not just with registered Democrats but also with. A people who were unaffiliated and the truth of the matter is is that one of the best test of general election viability is how one does with unaffiliated voters in a primary environment. A you know that's why New Hampshire is such an important event in the presidential primary system because. You know independence in the last democratic primary there comprise 40% of the electorate right and there was a primary Burris and his one with a over 60% of the vote. And so if you can demonstrate strength with independent voters in a primary it demonstrates lot of potential strength in a general election enough you know what. Would be a terrible thing. Is it the grassroots of the party spoke up and so that they wanted. A more bold and progressive. Platform from our candidates. If the national party folks should abandonment during this time and not provide the car resources they need to win. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. You do don't really dedicate the book to earn there's there's some there's some rough ports for her in the DNC. The route but let's get the big question on on this having looked at all. There's no. No one no one will ever find you know that the directive that came down from the Democratic Party that said. Hillary Clinton must be our nominee but in your view taking in all the evidence it's the things he recounts here was the primary process REIT for Hillary Clinton. Look it was clearly or rigged for Hillary Clinton not going to be gets in the ultimate question. If for the Rick we have but for the reading would buries in his of one and that's a question no one can answer but it is clear. That the process was raked you know the debate schedule from the very get go. Was set up to benefit us Secretary Clinton and not only to disadvantage Bernie Sanders but to disadvantage. You know governor O'Malley who was running for president and anybody else who chose to jump into the race including frankly. A vice president Biden. You know we know now from Donna results book that Hillary Clinton had effective control over the DNC as of the summer of 2015 control over hires another. Aspects of the DNC's operation. We know that the you know Clinton legal team when. We questioned. Some joint fundraising agreements that were used by the Clinton a campaign to. Essentially use the DNC to subsidize its online operation and to divert money from state parties. You know we know that that the Clinton order was advising the DNC on political talking points. So in in instance after instance it was clear that the party overstepped its. Authority in terms of being a neutral arbiter of the presidential campaign so I mean and I just don't think that's even debatable point anymore. Talk going forward beauty commission was a big piece of the potential reforms out of that there's been fits and starts around the that the changes in the process are you competent right now at 20/20 process. Will not be great that it will be a fair and open. Primary election that that anyone who's running as a chance of winning. Well I I think certainly anybody who would try to meddle in net campaign in in in his nefarious ways certainly on notice that people will be watching. And I think the rank and file voters democratic voters will be very sensitive to what you know that unity reform commission put out a set a reforms to democratize the party. You know Tom Perez the current chair frankly has been a very supportive of those initiatives and I think that he is playing a very. A constructive and positive role in trying to bring. A party together and how he is facing enormous pressure from other. Interest site you know the it was reported that Bill Clinton had instructed him not to let the Bernie Sanders people take over the party. But I think a Tom Perez has been a a fair dealer in terms of these unity reform. Proposals. And that includes. At least a great reduction in the number of super delegates who would vote on the first ballot because that clearly is. A process that I think is destructive to the democratic nature of the Democratic Party and really. Robs the rank and file of the of the role being the primary role picking the nominee. What big arguments in the unity mission was whether or not states should half to let the parties have to let unaffiliated and independent voters. Participate in the nominating process. But what do you say to those. Democrats. Who argue. That's just not fair that if people want a brawl and a voice in picking the party's nominee they should have to join the party. Prelate you know it all depends on how you look at what a political party is to me it's it's collection of people who you know it in in the country are a big country like ours were we have only two parties are obviously coalitions of interest are not. Going to be ideologically homogenous that's impossible to do with two parties and country with hundreds of millions of people. But what is glued to the role of the party event is to elect people who you know who share the values of that coalition that's currently. A dominant in the party. You know the problem is Mary Alice that if you if you look across the country. There oh many many states that have no party registration requirements. At all in its earliest case of Vermont certainly the case in Virginia. So I'm a Virginian and I donate to democratic candidates. And I help democratic candidates out and I'd favor the Democratic Party I can go and even though I don't have a little card my wallet that's as on the democratic going to vote in the democratic. Primary but piloting New York State. That's not the case soy and you know we're treating voters not equally or across the country's that's one problem. The other problem is is that the evidence is clear that colonials. Have a different relationship with the institutions and that's true political parties and it's true religious institutions and companies and every of products and everything else. And they are disproportionately. By overwhelming numbers choosing to. To register as independents are nonaligned depending what would stay urine. As opposed to registering for one of the two major parties now when you ask those. Independent millennial olds whether it is for one party or other they clearly have a party preference there largely Democrats but there are some Republicans. And they want to be active member to split in the Democratic Party and to walk those people out in a place like New York. Where he had three million independents. He is gonna make our party over time. Older and smaller and more insular and that's just not a way. To build a mass party across the country you know we have what we in digital organizing does what's called latter's of engagement like to get some of the signed a petition. And get him to take another action the new get him to donate money than you and so you eat you know you build affiliation over time and that's what we have to do. With our primaries and one of the first ways that people engage with the parties and to engage in its presidential primary and that's how we bring. People in and I think in new York and Pennsylvania the pleasantly locked young voters out and you know that's the book discusses. The group the it that demographic group among millennial who has the highest percentage of democratically aligned independents are African American youth and so you know we're disproportionately locking out youth of color. From the process when you have close primaries that's it's not a healthy thing for the party. Rick might have one more question now and on this if senator Sanders runs to Beagle is of marlin not run or if Elizabeth Warren has run Willis Anderson is not right. Well that's a question Mary Alice you know that's. You know the race is not certain I think appropriately so everybody's focused on the mid terms are now I mean you're in Washington around politics you know behind the scenes the the game has begun in some of the pawns are starting to move on the chessboard. And you know right now there's probable lead you know we could that your review and Rick repeat mop the list of hundred people were potentially running for the nomination. I. And are. Partly right but if you think about all the people who. Some point during today want mine the year ago. President. Ellis actually pretty big and over time list will. Winnow down as you know people. Look at the real president one get the necessary support one rates and money. It's personal rate candidate for the for the right time in the party. You know that maybe some very well qualified candidates and for whom this like political. Her political arm it's not good for their hands so. Don't limited progress and our guy how will winnow down and and so want to see you you know by the time you get any problem with twelve people at the beginning and then that would you know. Alice you've survived the killing fields work. You know you've Yugo when we ten and you come out with for work. So you know we'll see how it goes I'm confident that whoever runs that there certainly will be progressive standard prayer will be able to galvanize this restaurants and. It is that their decision making impact each other if your senator Sanders and a warrant you make that decision based on yourself and your own in your own prospects the other person and I think that's right I mean obviously you know who's in the in the field obviously affects that. But I you know I mean look my view on this nightmare else probably heard me say it many times is what I think whoever wants run should run. And whether Bernie Sanders is running or not a with a job I was ran off those reforms in an op. I think the more the merrier I think you know that the way we've set up the calendar there are some problems within on democratic side but it does. But that does allow people in the very early states because there engaged more retail politics for people who. Are a dark horse candidate to. Introduce him or herself to the electorate and then move into the top tier and so I think that's a very healthy process and you know there may be somebody out there in the world. Who. None of us in this room would think about his being an ex president who could emerge from that so I think that's positive. Jeff Weaver Bernie Sanders former presidential campaign manager joining us he's out with a new book and thank you very much for your time. Thanks I was glad to be would.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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