Sen. Bernie Sanders drew some of the sharpest contrasts we've seen so far on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton when it comes to trade, her vote in Iraq and campaign finance during an interview on CBS' Face the Nation this Sunday.
Sanders has continued to draw large crowds in Iowa and other early primary states, and he's going to continue to push Clinton to the left, and to let the public know where she stands on issues like trade and protecting American jobs and the economy, which I believe, as opposed to the beltway conventional wisdom, is good for the Democratic party and good for whoever ultimately ends up being the party's nominee.
Here's more from CBS: Bernie Sanders: I want to work with Clinton on trade:
Democrats in Congress dealt a blow to President Obama's agenda last week when they blocked a bill to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade deal with Asia he has been negotiating.
But that victory isn't enough for Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who is running for the Democratic nomination. He also wants his fellow Democratic candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to join the coalition of lawmakers who disagree with the president on trade.
"Corporate America and Wall Street are going to bring that bill back to the House next week. I would hope very much that Secretary Clinton will side with every union in this country, virtually every environmental group, many religious groups, and say that this TPP policy is a disaster, that it must be defeated, and that we need to regroup and come up with a trade policy which demands that corporate America start investing in this country rather than in countries all over the world. So I look forward to working with the secretary on this issue," Sanders said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."
In a separate interview, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook rejected the suggestion that his boss has been on the sidelines of the trade issue. [...]
Mook argued that it's not a problem that Clinton hasn't taken a stance since the administration hasn't made the text of the TPP deal public, and called the current dispute between Congress and the administration "about procedures and parliamentary this and that."↓ Story continues below ↓
"You can't take a position on a trade bill that you can't see, and so Hillary's trying to be responsible and wait until we have something to react to, but she has a very clear set of tests that any trade bill will need to meet," he said.
Though Sanders seemed to argue the same point - saying it's "a little bit silly" for members of Congress to be voting on a trade deal they haven't seen yet - he also said that past trade deals have taught him enough about how free trade deals play out in America.
"There is no question in my mind, and I think the minds of most Americans, that what our trade policy has been for many years is to allow corporate America to shut down plants in this country, move abroad, hire people at pennies an hour, and then bring their products back into the United States," Sanders said. "It is a failed trade policy, and I would hope that the secretary joins [Massachusetts Sen.] Elizabeth Warren, [Ohio Sen.] Sherrod Brown, and the vast majority of Democrats in the Congress in saying, 'No, we've got to defeat this piece of legislation.'"
Sanders has resisted criticizing Clinton but is getting more vocal about issues on which he believes the former secretary of state has gone wrong. Aside from trade, he pointed to three issues where he believes he has a distinction: Clinton's vote in favor of the Iraq War versus his vote against it; his efforts to defeat the Keystone XL pipeline in Congress versus her relative silence on the issue; and his vote against the USA Patriot Act versus Clinton's vote in favor.
Plus, Sanders said, "I think the bottom line is the American people want leadership to take on the billionaire class, represent the middle class. I have been doing that for the last 25 years. People will have to judge the secretary's role in that process." Read on...