The 79-year-old, who shot to fame for his progressive, left-leaning policies during two failed bids for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2016 and 2020, appeared at a rally with former state representative Charles Booker in Kentucky on Sunday, who continued to hint at a potential run against Republican senator Rand Paul.
Outside the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, the senator from Vermont focused on Kentucky’s other senator, McConnell, accusing him of obstructing bids to improve health care and decrease poverty whilst reportedly raising funds from banks and corporate giants, as reported by The Courier Journal.
Mr Sanders said: “As we speak, Senator McConnell is leading the effort against the long-term structural changes that working people in Kentucky and throughout our country desperately need.”
Mr Sanders added: “How does it happen that Mitch McConnell is working overtime to block legislation that would improve the lives of so many working-class people in Kentucky, while he is doing everything that he can to make the richest people in America even richer? And the answer is pretty simple: Follow the money.
“It’s a question of whose interests the government represents. It’s a question of whether you fight for the needs of the wealthy and large corporations who fund your campaigns, or the working families of our country.”
A spokeswoman for Senator Paul told The Courier Journal: “It’s no secret that Kentuckians overwhelmingly reject the radical socialist Bernie Sanders agenda of job-killing policies like the Green New Deal and massive tax hikes, Medicare for All, abortion on demand, and taking away our guns.”
She added: “Kentuckians know there is no greater champion for the values they hold dear than Dr. Rand Paul, and like President Trump stated in his recent endorsement, Dr. Paul has a proven record of fighting back against the fringe, socialist, and entirely anti-Kentucky policies of Bernie and his liberal allies.”
Mr Sanders also called on Democrats to approve progressive legislation on Covid-19 and the climate crisis, as well as a $15 minimum wage, cancelling student loan debt and negotiating drug costs with pharmaceutical companies.
He said: “If Republicans refuse to work with us, if Senator McConnell and Republicans in the Senate continue their strategy of obstructionism, it means passing a progressive agenda through the Senate with 51 votes, instead of 60, by using budget reconciliation. And I say that as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. The American people are hurting, they want action and we have got to deliver for them.”
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