Donald Trump: I welcome Bernie Sanders supporters with open arms

The presumptive Republican nominee continues to echo the Vermont senator with talk of the ‘rigged system’ and lambasting Hillary Clinton’s ‘hedge fund business'


Rachael Revesz
New York
Wednesday 08 June 2016 02:31 BST
Mr Trump has his arms open to 'welcome' those 'lost' democrats
Mr Trump has his arms open to 'welcome' those 'lost' democrats (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

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For his reportedly first major speech using a teleprompter, Donald Trump did not misplace a single word.

Perhaps buoyed by a victory in New Jersey and a well-written script, Mr Trump appeared confident he could woo Bernie Sanders supporters by focusing on the “rigged” political system.

“For all those Bernie Sanders supporters who have been left out in the cold by a rigged system of super delegates, we welcome you with open arms,” he said from his golf course resort in Westchester, New York.

Mr Trump boasted of his “landslide victories” across the US state primaries, the “only way to beat the rigged system”.

Mr Trump, who became a Republican in recent years, added a line in his speech that might echo with senator Sanders, the man who switched to the Democratic party in 2015.

“It’s not about Democrat or Republican, it's about who runs this country, the special interests for the people, and I mean the American people.“

“Every year they [politicians] fail to deliver. Why would politicians want to change a system that’s totally rigged to keep them in power? Why would they want to change a system that’s made them and their friends very wealthy?"

“There’s one thing we have learned,” Mr Trump continued. “We can’t solve our problems by counting on the politicians who created our problems.”

His speech comes on the same evening of the final democratic state primaries, when Mr Sanders lagged behind Ms Clinton in the New Jersey primary.

Mr Trump spared criticism of Mr Sanders, saying the Democrat was right about the US’s “disastrous” trade deals, but he took the opportunity to hit Hillary Clinton hard.

He attacked her “hedge fund” business and ties to the establishment, an argument that Mr Sanders has also followed.

“The Clintons made hundreds of billions selling access, selling favors, selling government contracts,” he said. “And she did all that work on a totally illegal private server.“

“She turned the state department into her private hedge fund department,” he added.

Mr Trump did not totally abandon his usual rhetoric, and continued the theme that he was a “fighter” and a “champion” for the American people.

“I didn’t need to do it [to run for president]; it’s not easy, believe me. But I felt I had to give back to my wonderful country which has been so wonderful to me and my family."

Mr Sanders has said he will remain in the competition against Ms Clinton until the very last primary in Washington DC.

On Tuesday he lost New Jersey to his rival but gained the majority of the vote in North Dakota.

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