After key losses, Sanders challenges Biden on healthcare, immigration

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

March 11 (UPI) — Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the status of his campaign after another major defeat on Tuesday — and he said he isn’t going anywhere yet.

Sanders lost four state primaries to former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday, including Michigan, the main prize. He also lost Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho, but did win North Dakota. The race in Washington state hasn’t yet been decided, but Sanders holds a slight lead there.

Speaking to reporters in Burlington, Vt., Wednesday, Sanders indicated he’s not planning to exit the race — and said he’s eager for the first one-on-one Democratic debate with Biden, scheduled for Sunday in Phoenix. It will be the first of the 2020 campaign to be staged without a live audience, due to efforts to mitigate the coronavirus spread.

In his speech, Sanders denounced President Donald Trump and called him “the most dangerous president in the history out our country and must be defeated.” He also said his campaign is not hampered by primary losses in the last two weeks — saying he’s winning support for his progressive agenda, which includes universal healthcare, hiking the federal minimum wage and substantial action on climate change.

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“The American people know, unlike Donald Trump, that climate change is an existential crisis,” he said, noting that his constituency of younger voters includes those in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

“Biden is largely supported by those over 65,” he added.

“We have won the ideological debate.”

Sanders posed several questions for Biden, which he said he’ll ask on Sunday — including what he plans do about the half-million Americans who “go bankrupt because of medical debt,” whether he would veto a “Medicare for All” bill, how he would deal with the cost of college and how he plans to fix a “broken and inhumane immigration policy.”

Sanders left the stage after the 10-minute speech without taking questions.

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