Senator Bernie Sanders rejected a movement to draft him into starting a new political party, telling NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday that his focus right now is on the Democratic Party as a whole.
“Right now I am working to bring fundamental reform to the Democratic Party, to open the door to the Democratic Party,” said Sanders, who lost the Democratic presidential nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016.
A group of former staff members and delegates for Sanders launched an effort last week called “Draft Bernie for A People’s Party”, which they called a “nationwide effort” to convince the senator “to found a new party rooted in the progressive principles that awoke a political revolution during his campaign for the presidency”.
As the White House examines their options after a federal appeals panel kept the halt of their immigration executive order in place, Sanders was asked about whether he believes current procedures to let refugees and other people in the country should be improved.
“Vetting mechanisms we have now are very, very strong,” he said, but added that he’s open to hearing more from anyone who has a better idea to make them stronger.
“I don’t think there’s any debate whether you’re progressive, conservative, or anybody else that we want to keep the United States safe,” NBC News quoted him as saying.
However, Sanders referred to the Trump administration’s immigration policies as “racist” and “based on anti-Muslim ideology”.
He then called White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller’s comments about the immigration order in the “Meet the Press” appearance before him a “shell game” and a distraction from what he said was the President “backtracking on every economic promise that he made to the American people”.
“He was going to clean the swamp, remember that? Guess who is running the swamp right now. The same exact Wall Street guys from Goldman Sachs who were there in the past,” specially referring to President Trump’s Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, who was previously the President and Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs.