STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Bernie Sanders' platform sounds strangely familiar

CNN's Wolf Blitzer presses Sen. Bernie Sanders on why he hasn't called Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro a dictator.

Posted: Feb 26, 2019 9:30 AM
Updated: Feb 26, 2019 9:30 AM

The CNN town hall with Bernie Sanders on Monday night showed the Vermont senator picking up where he left off in 2016: Calling for higher taxes on the wealthy, single-payer health care and a dramatic expansion of government support for programs including pre-kindergarten and university education.

If much of what Sanders said sounded familiar, it's because many policies that sounded radical and new in 2016 have become mainstream Democratic positions. It's not that Bernie went centrist; instead, the center moved toward him. That is how the Vermont senator raised $10 million in the week after announcing his candidacy for the 2020 nomination, and it's why he polls near the front of the pack of contenders running for the Democratic nomination.

So the town hall sounded like a walk through the standard Democratic talking points, which isn't particularly exciting. Sanders promised to do something about the millions who struggle in poverty. He vowed to slap new taxes on "the billionaire class" to cover the cost of relief for the poor.

The pharmaceutical industry is "the most greedy entity in this country today," he said, with it raking in $50 billion in profits last year while one in five Americans can't afford vital medicines like insulin. (Sanders called for laws to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices with pharmaceutical companies).

Thanks to Sanders' attention to these issues in 2016, now all Democratic candidates must promise to tackle income inequality, the high cost of health care and the stranglehold that monied interests hold over Congress. But that leads to a potential problem for Sanders: other candidates, like Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker can present an identical analysis while offering more sizzle and pizzazz than Sanders can muster with his professorial style.

At the town hall, his proposals went over well with the Washington, DC, audience. The assembled group included a cross-section of core Democratic voters: women, blacks, university-age young adults. Some of the questions reflected audience skepticism about whether the Sanders message can bring people together and coalesce into a force powerful enough to unseat President Trump.

The doubts reflect the reality that following Sanders' progressive message doesn't guarantee victory. Many of the progressive candidates he supported in the 2018 midterms went down to defeat, and Our Revolution, Sanders' political arm, failed to flip any seats in the midterms from Republican to Democrat.

That will be Sanders' toughest case to make. At a time when Democrats want to beat Trump more than anything, Sanders has to persuade the rank-and-file that he is the best salesman of a product now being copied by many others.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319511

Reported Deaths: 7368
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22267267
Hinds20657421
Harrison18401317
Rankin13868282
Jackson13681248
Madison10239224
Lee10052176
Jones8458167
Forrest7824153
Lauderdale7257242
Lowndes6501150
Lamar634088
Lafayette6303121
Washington5419136
Bolivar4836133
Panola4665110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4600147
Marshall4572105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425073
Union415677
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386487
Leflore3515125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3368111
Alcorn324272
Scott319774
Yazoo314171
Adams305886
Itawamba305078
Copiah299666
Coahoma298484
Simpson298189
Tippah291868
Prentiss283661
Leake271774
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231268
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187754
Stone187433
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174032
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry126738
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman81916
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69432
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 91°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
89° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 90°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
84° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 85°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 87°
The relative lack of humidity has been a welcome change from the summertime stuffiness we’ve had lately. That lack of humidity will once again ensure that temperatures get down into the mid 60s for early morning Thursday. While Friday morning will remain comfortable as well, rain chances ratchet up as a tropical system approaches this weekend.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather