Many people still believe Bernie Sanders would have beaten Donald Trump had he been the Democratic nominee in 2016.
And the Vermont senator's supporters, drawn to his pro-working class message, are supporting him again in a presidential run in 2020.
The big difference this time: he faces 22 other competitors. Many of them have adopted his messages.
He was in Las Vegas over the weekend drumming up support in Nevada, whose early caucus is one of the keys for any candidate seeking the Democratic nomination.
“At the end of the day, what I think wins an election is grassroots support, getting your supporters out to vote," Sanders told KNPR's State of Nevada, "I think that’s what we’re going to do here in Nevada and other states around the country.”
Sanders said it is his agenda that will help him win the nomination and beat President Donald Trump in 2020.
One of those agenda items is a $2.2-trillion plan to make public colleges, universities and work-training programs free and cancel all student debt. Sanders said he plans to pay for the plan by taxing Wall Street speculation.
“It seems to me that if we can bail out Wall Street and give huge tax breaks to the one percent, you know what? We can cancel student debt in this country. So that the millennial generation will not have a lower standard of living than their parents," he said.
He said people were told to go to college to get a good job but the pay they're getting when they graduate is less than what their parents got.
“I think it is good for the economy, good for the younger generation, [to] give them a break and that’s why I want to cancel all student debt,” he said.
Also on his agenda is a plan to address climate change, with Nevada leading the way.
“What the next President of the United States has got to do is not only transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, which includes massive investments in solar. Obviously, Nevada, Florida, other states like that that have huge amounts of solar exposure will lead the country in that direction, and when we do that we’re going to create millions of good-paying jobs,” he said.
Sanders would like to see climate change addressed globally. He wants the countries of the world to stop spending money on weapons system and instead spend it on fighting what he sees as an existential threat to the whole world.
Besides public education and climate change, Sanders wants to address health care and prescription drug costs.
“As President of the United States, I will cut prescription drug costs in half, and if you think that is a radical statement, it is not because all I would be doing is having Americans pay the same as prices for prescription drugs as countries around the world are paying,” he said.
The candidate brushed off concerns that Republican leaders want him to be the nominee so they would get the votes of people who don't want to see their taxes go up. Sanders said people are already paying a lot for health care, which he would change.
“I believe that health care is a human right. I believe that is a bit insane that we are spending almost twice as much per capita on health care as do the people of Canada and other countries around the world," he said, “I believe we should have a publicly funded health care system called Medicare for All.”
Sanders also wants to tackle criminal justice reform, raise the minimum wage and initiate immigration reform, "which means moving toward a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented," he said. "It means getting immediate legal status for the 1.8 million young people eligible for DACA… it means having a humane border policy."
(Editor's note: This interview originally aired July 2019)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
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