Bernie Sanders is facing off against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary—maybe the toughest challenge he’s had in his four-decade political career.
But Sanders told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos last week that his underdog campaign was making Clinton change her strategy. “I think by telling the truth, we are forcing her and other candidates to respond to that reality,” Sanders said. He pointed to his support for a $15 minimum wage and Clinton’s move toward increasing the minimum wage as well.
“We’re electable, we can win this thing,” he said. “Every day, we are doing better and better. We started off at the disadvantage that not a whole lot of people knew who I was…as people hear [me], they’re saying, ‘Yeah that’s the kind of program we need.'” His message of leveling inequality, tuition-free colleges, and healthcare for all is resonating, Sanders said.
In addition to addressing immigration policy and the Black Lives Matter movement, Sanders also touched on a range of issues, from foreign policy to the videos showing Planned Parenthood representatives discussing fetal tissue donations.
“You’re not selling fetuses,” Sanders said. “I think the tone of that discussion was unfortunate. But if the question is, do I support Planned Parenthood, then yes I do.” He hailed the organization for providing crucial health services to “some of the poorest people in America.”
“I will defend Planned Parenthood,” he told Ramos. “I think a lot of this attack, to be honest with you, comes from people who simply do not believe that a woman should have the right to control her own body.” (At the Republican debate last night, which Sanders live-tweeted, candidates rushed to say they would defund it.)
When asked whether he would support legalizing marijuana, Sanders said, “that is something we are looking at right now.” He said he smoked marijuana “a couple times as a kid. It didn’t do me much good. I ended up coughing a lot.”
“I am deeply concerned about the impact of the so-called war on drugs,” he added, pointing out the sky-high incarceration rates in the U.S.
Sanders, who visited Cuba last year, said he supports President Obama’s efforts to improve relations with Havana. “The present foreign policy has failed, and it has failed dismally for the people of our country and the people of Cuba,” he said, adding, “we want to see Cuba move toward a democratic society.”
And he had some choice words on Donald Trump’s disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants. “It is literally beyond belief that somebody in the year 2015 would be saying things like that,” Sanders said. “It is an outrage.”
Related coverage: Jorge Ramos presses Bernie Sanders on ‘open borders’ comments