Sen. Bernie Sanders said his consistent viewpoint on key issues, including the Keystone XL pipeline program and President Obama’s controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, sharply contrast him with his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, in the wake of positions she has reversed recently.
“People will have to contrast my consistency and my willingness to stand up to Wall Street and corporations, big corporations, with the secretary,” said Sanders in an interview excerpt released Friday from NBC’s “Meet the Press”. The full interview airs this Sunday.
Sanders, an independent who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, is mounting a strong insurgent bid against his front-runner, Clinton. Sanders said he has vehemently opposed the Keystone XL pipeline “from day one,” because “if you’re serious about climate change, you don’t encourage the excavation and transportation of very dirty oil.”
After months of avoiding to give her opinions on the controversial trade deal that is facing fight in congress, Clinton announced her opposition to the agreement Wednesday in an interview with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff. She said the deal, which she helped negotiate during her time as secretary of state and once called the “gold standard,” would not create American jobs, raised ages and advanced national security.
“I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set,” she said.
Clinton has begun to distance herself from Obama on some key issues, which could potentially help her appeal to the progressive wing of the Democratic party. Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley had both opposed the trade deal for months. Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering launching a bid for the White House, would be the only Democratic presidential candidate supporting trade deal were he to enter the race.
Sanders, who fought an earlier congressional trade authorization bill in the Senate, said Clinton’s opposition “would have been more helpful to have her on board a few months ago” when he was fighting that bill.
“I’ll let the American people determine who has credibility or not [on this issue],” Sanders told reporters after a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington this week. “I’m glad that she reached that conclusion. This is a conclusion I reached on day one.”
Clinton announced her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline program, which have been facing scrutiny throughout liberal circles, late last month. She said it was not “in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change.”