Home Video Sanders: Post Office “Sabotage” A “Crisis For American Democracy”

Sanders: Post Office “Sabotage” A “Crisis For American Democracy”

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During an interview this morning with Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Bernie Sanders warned that Republicans are trying to sabotage the Postal Service to disrupt the election, saying they are “undermining American Democracy.”

CHUCK TODD: You’ve spent a lot of time in your career fighting on behalf of the Postal Service in different ways, fighting to make sure stuff doesn’t get cut. So, this is a topic you are well versed in. So, let me ask you this about what we’re seeing right now. On one hand, the United States Postal Service is telling states they can’t handle the increased capacity of mail-in voting. On the other hand, we’ve got reports of sorting machines going away, no more overtime. What are we witnessing here, Senator Sanders? Legitimate reform of the Postal Service or sabotage? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, Chuck, what you are witnessing is a president of the United States who is doing everything he can to suppress the vote, make it harder for people to engage in mail-in balloting at a time when people will be putting their lives on the line by having to go out to a polling station and vote. So, what Trump is saying is, “We’re going to do everything we can.” And this is not me talking. This is what Trump, himself, said. Look, I happen to think, as you know, that Trump is a pathological liar. He lies all of the time, but I’ve got to say, I’ve got to admit that the other day he was very honest. He said, “Look, we want to kill mail-in balloting. We don’t want millions and millions of people to be able to cast their ballots through the mail, so we’ll destroy the Postal Service. We’ll defund it. They can’t vote.” I guess that he thinks that a suppressed vote, a lower voter turnout, will work for him and that it will help him win the election. So, this is a deliberate effort to defund and destroy the U.S. Postal Service so that people cannot engage in mail-in ballots. That’s not Bernie Sanders talking. That’s what Donald Trump is telling the American people. And it is an outrage, Chuck, because this campaign is more than healthcare, it’s more than education, it’s more than the Postal Service. It is democracy and he is sabotaging our democracy. CHUCK TODD: I think the question now is what does Congress do? What can you do? The House is — you’re hearing some word that the House Democratic leadership is thinking about bringing the House back early to deal directly with this Postal Service crisis. Do you think that’s a good idea? And do you want to see Senator Mitch McConnell do the same thing? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Absolutely. No, I think what the Democratic leadership in the House, Nancy Pelosi, and others are talking about is exactly right. This, again, is not a debate about the Postal Service alone. That’s important. This is about the future of American democracy and whether people have a right to participate. Chuck, just last week, earlier this week, here in Vermont, we had our primaries. We had the largest voter turnout in primaries in Vermont history. Most of the people voted by mail-in ballot. It worked just fine. We could do this in every state in this country. So, I would urge Speaker Pelosi to bring back the House. We will do everything that we can to get McConnell to bring back the Senate. This is a crisis for American democracy. We have got to act and act now. CHUCK TODD: You know, your colleague, Brian Schatz in Hawaii, a Democrat from Hawaii, saw shades of Ukraine in here. He tweeted, “Trump messing with the Postal Service is more impeachable than the Ukraine thing, which was super impeachable. He’s really going to try to cheat.” I guess the question is what do you call what the president is doing when he said that he’s hoping this lack of a deal on the Postal Service means no mail-in voting? What do you call it? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I call it undermining American democracy. And Chuck, what I hope is, I mean, everybody knows my political views. I am a strong progressive. But this campaign is not about whether you’re progressive or a moderate or a conservative. This campaign, in the deepest sense, is whether we respect the sacrifices the men and women died in defending American democracy against a president who really quite openly is trying to undermine our democracy. And I hope the American people come together, progressives, moderates, conservatives, to say, “Sorry, Mr. President, we may have our disagreements, but in America, we are a democracy. Everybody is going to vote and we’re not going to let you get away with what you’re doing.”

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