Senator Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, is promising to play an influential role in the 2018 midterm elections. He was matter of fact about the stakes for the Democratic Party.
“If Democrats control either the House or the Senate, Trump’s agenda is dead,” Mr. Sanders said during a conversation with New York Times reporters and editors.
Sanders had some tough love for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other national party organizations. He warned that at this critical time, before hundreds of House and Senate primaries, Democratic leadership is not doing enough to support liberal grass-roots candidates who are running against Mr. Trump and backing a progressive agenda.
“The establishment Democrats are still, I think, looking toward candidates who can self-fund,” said Mr. Sanders, a progressive independent. He had huge success raising about $230 million in mostly small dollar and online contributions during his 2016 presidential bid.
National Democrats “still have a tendency to believe that more conservative candidates are better positioned to win,” Sanders added.
The popular liberal argued that ideas like “Medicare for All” and a higher minimum wage, which he championed in 2016, are increasingly popular and helpful to Democratic candidates.
Sanders said he plans to make endorsements in the midterms, but that he is still deciding where he can be most effective.