Bernie Sanders on Republicans and Donald Trump

FT columnist Simon Kuper has tea in Dublin with Mr Sanders. The interview will appear in tomorrow’s weekend edition of the Financial Times. The paper is printed on pink paper, if you search for it in a newsstand.

If you are a subscriber, you can read the article online, at the link below. Alternatively, free registration allows you to download three free columns each month. This should be one of them.

[US Senator Bernie] Sanders considers the Republican party the creature of billionaire donors such as the industrialist Koch brothers. Does he think Trump is an ignoramus who simply wandered into that set-up?

“No, I think Trump is actually quite smart — in his own way and for his own reasons. He may not know a lot about foreign policy or healthcare, but he is not a dumb man by any means. I think what Trump is doing is filling the agenda of people like the Koch brothers: essentially doing away with every major programme passed since Franklin D Roosevelt that would help working people, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor, and at the same time providing massive tax breaks to the rich and large corporations. In this budget, Trump did not propose cuts to social security [the American retirement programme], but I have zero doubt that will be coming down the pike.”

Sanders considers today’s Republicans an “extreme right” party. In the past, he says, “centre-right” Republicans such as Dwight D Eisenhower competed with conservative Republicans. “What you have now are, in a sense, rightwing Republicans competing with extreme rightwing Republicans.” Still, he adds: “A lot of Republicans in the House and Senate are not indecent human beings.”

Simon Kuper, “US senator Bernie Sanders on socialism and Donald Trump“, Financial Times, 10 June 2017 (gated paywall).

There is much, much more in this fascinating “Lunch with the FT”.

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