'I think we've got a great shot to win in Michigan ... Washington': Sanders

Ahead of primaries in Michigan and Washington, Sen. Bernie Sanders is interviewed on "This Week."
9:52 | 03/08/20

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Transcript for 'I think we've got a great shot to win in Michigan ... Washington': Sanders
You know, senator Sanders likes say he'll need a record turnout to defeat Donald Trump. He's right. We're the campaign that's going to do that record turnout. If you want a nominee who will bring the party together, who will run a positive, Progressive vision for the future, not turn this primary into a campaign of negative attacks it will only re-elect Donald Trump if we go that route. Joe Biden in Missouri yesterday. We're joined by senator Sanders. Joins us from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Senator Sanders, thank you for joining us. Boy, what a difference a week makes. When you joined us last Sunday, you were leading in delegates, looked poised for a big lead coming out of super Tuesday. Pete buttigieg and Amy klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg all still in the race, how surprised were you by super Tuesday and how do you explain it? Well, one of the things that I wasn't surprised by is the power of establishment to force Amy klobuchar who worked so hard, and Pete buttigieg who worked extremely hard as well, out of the race. What was very clear from the media narrative and what the establishment wanted was to make sure that people coalesced around Biden and try to defeat me. That's not surprising. We're taking on, George, on the establishment. We're taking on the corporate establishment. We're taking on the political establishment. And what you're seeing now just in the last few weeks is wall Street, the health care industry, the billionaire class putting a lot of money into Joe's campaign. But at the end of the day, you know what, I think we're going to win this thing. We won in California, we won in Utah and Colorado. We won in Vermont. We won three states popular votes before that. I'm looking forward to the primary here in Michigan. And in the state of Washington and other places as well. But as you know, Joe Biden now has a majority of the popular vote, he won ten states on Tuesday, it wasn't just the establishment it was the voters as well, and now he's gotten a new endorsement just this morning, here's kamala Harris. One of the things that we need right now is we need a leader who really does care about the people and who can therefore unify the people and I believe Joe can do that. He's a public servant who's always worked for the best of who we are as a nation. And we need that right now. There's so much at stake in the election, guys. She's now the ninth former She's now the ninth former candidate to endorse Joe Biden. It goes beyond the establishment. Joe Biden who's unifying the democratic party. Yeah, well, let me say this, later on today we're going to have the support, I believe here in Grand Rapids of Jesse Jackson and as you know, you know Jesse, Jesse has been one of the great civil rights leaders in the modern history of this country. He changed American politics with the concept of the rainbow coalition in '84, in '88 he's been a leader in helping to transform this country. Look, we have the support of virtually every major grassroots organization representing millions of workers, black and brown and white, and we have the support of a number of major unions in this country. This is no secret, George, you know politics, we're not going to get the support of most elected leaders, but we're winning the support of grassroots America because we have an agenda that speaks to working people. Our agenda said that health care is a human right. Our record is very different than Joe Biden's. Joe Biden voted for the war in Iraq, I helped lead the opposition. Here in Michigan right now, the trade agreements like nafta were disastrous, cost 160,000 jobs here in Michigan because American workers were forced to compete against desperate people in Mexico and China, cost over 4 million jobs nationally. I led the effort against those disastrous trade agreements. Worked the unions. Joe voted for those trade agreements. Joe has been in the past on the floor of senate to cut social security, veterans program, I strongly oppose that. Joe is now getting his funding from at least 60 billionaires, not to mention a super pac. We get our funding from the grassroots. From working families, averaging $18.50. People understand the difference. We're in a crisis in America not only need to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in American history, but to take on corporate elite. You outspent him on super Tuesday. Let me pick up on one of the points you were making, you talked about social security, vice president Biden said he wants to expand social security benefits and the president has actually picked up on your attacks. Here's a tweet he sent out this week. He said, I'll protect your social security and medicare as I have for the past three years. Sleepy Joe Biden will destroy both in very short order, and he won't know he's doing it. You don't take him at his word? Okay, look, Joe's a friend of mine. By the way, I have said if Joe wins I'll be there for him to defeat trump and he has said that he'll be there for me to defeat trump. We agreed on that. I think in the course of a political career, members of the senate, have to cast difficult votes. I cast a vote against the so-called defense of marriage act, which was a homophobic act brought by the right wing. Back then it wasn't an easy vote. Joe voted for it. I voted consistently against the Hyde amendment which denies women in this country the ability to control their own bodies in terms of abortion. Owe voted for it. So what I'm saying here is that people want somebody who has a history of standing up and making the tough decisions in tough times, the war in Iraq wasn't so easy. Let me -- you brought up the war in Iraq. Do you believe there's any difference between you and Joe Biden right now on gay rights or abortion rights going forward? Yeah, I think I have -- well, look, if you judge somebody by their records I have been there. I have 100% pro-choice voting record. I was there when the going was Joe was not. In terms of gay rights, in terms of, you know, as I mentioned the so-called defense of marriage act it wasn't an easy vote as you will recall. When I cast and said no, marriage is not just between a man and a woman, people have the right to marry whoever they want regardless of their gender, that was a tough vote. In Vermont, in terms of whether or not gays had the right to be in the military, this don't ask, don't tell, I was on the right side of that issue. Joe was not. I like Joe. I really do. Is that people have a right to know who's going to be there when the going gets tough. Voting against the Wall Street bailout, I voted against that, Joe voted for it. There are -- Backed by president Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, your own senior senator from Vermont, pat Leahy, they're all wrong -- That's right -- of course. What I said then and I say now, you don't give trillions of dollars and zero interest loans to Wall Street and large corporations all over this country. If you wanted to bail out wall Street, the way you do it is ask the wealthiest people in this country to start paying their taxes so that we could do what had to be done. Right now the bailout of wall Street, we bailed out wall Street, and yet half of the people in this country living paycheck to paycheck. More recently, trump is giving tax breaks to billionaires. Having a government that represents working people and not just the billionaire class. Let's look ahead to next Tuesday. We heard from Nate silver, he crunched the numbers and you have almost no chance of getting a plurality of delegates without getting a win in Michigan. Do agree that Michigan is make or break for you? I have been asked about make or break -- George, you know a little bit about politics. Make or break since Iowa, new Hampshire. Every state is important. Michigan is very, very important. Last time around in 2016, I was told impossible. You can't win Michigan. In fact the day before the election, we were 20 points down in some of these polls. I think we have a great shot to win in Michigan, Washington, maybe some other states as well, we have a long, long way to go to the democratic nomination and we're going to fight for every vote. Final question, if it becomes clear that you can't get a plurality you won't head to the convention with the lead, will you drop out or take this all the way to the convention? Look, we'll fight for every vote that we can as we try to win this election. I'm not going to stay in the race that can't be won. Right now that's a little bit premature. Let's not determine what will happen on Tuesday and in future. I think we have a great chance to win in Michigan, Washington and New York state. Some of the major states that will coming up. I think think the people have a right to cast a vote for the candidate they want to see become president of the united States. Senator Sanders, thank you for your time this morning. We'll all be watching on Tuesday. Thanks very much. Thank you, George.

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

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