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Bernie Sanders (D)

Senator from Vermont

Bernie Sanders (D)

Skimm'd over the phone

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is an Independent running for the Democratic nomination in 2016. And he's one of only two people taking on Hillz. Get to know your candidate here.

Note: ALL candidates have been offered the chance to Guest Skimm. Opinions are of the candidate, not theSkimm. To Skimm other candidates go here.



Burlington, VT


Fun fact:

I have seven beautiful grandchildren.


Tell us about yourself.

I was mayor of the city of Burlington, VT for eight years. And I think that people who visit Burlington today will find it to be one of the more exciting and liveable cities in America, and my administration played a role in making that happen. I was a congressman from 1990 to 2006, for sixteen years, and then I've been in the US Senate since, for nine years.


So, why should America hire you?

Well, I think that this country faces enormous problems today. We have income and wealth inequality almost greater than any country on Earth, and I think that's unfair....I don't think that that's the nation that America wants to be. And I think that we need leadership to stand up to the billionaire class...and make sure that our government works for all of the people, and not just a handful of wealthy people.


Who should we call for a reference?

The people of the state of Vermont. Now, that’s 630,000 people so you’re going to have to make a lot of calls...


What's your greatest strength?

I think that the agenda I’m bringing forward is an agenda that resonates with the American people.


What's your greatest weakness?

I probably get focused on too many issues, and am not as sociable as I might be.

Where do you stand on the following...


The Economy.

I think I just gave it to you [see above]. The middle class in the United States is disappearing. We need to create millions of decent paying jobs, raise the minimum wage, and provide pay equity for women workers.


The Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare).

The United States is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. I believe in a Medicare for all, single-payer program, guaranteeing health care to all people. I voted for the Affordable Care Act, but that still leaves 35 million Americans without any health insurance.



[Congress has] introduced legislation [proposed by Sanders] regarding higher education financing [that] does two things. Number 1, it provides free tuition at public colleges and substantially lowers student debt by allowing those people who have the debt to refinance their loans at lower interest rates. And number 2, it gets the government, who holds many of these loans, out of the business of profiteering off middle class and working class families.


Climate Change.

I have helped to lead the US Congress in introducing legislation to combat climate change. I’ve introduced the most comprehensive legislation on climate change in Congress.


The Iran Nuclear Deal.

Well, the devil is in the details, but I applaud the president and Secretary Kerry for the hard work of working with six countries, and Iran, in order to make sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, and that we can reach that goal without having to go to war.


Gun Control.

I represent a state which is a very rural state -- and my state has virtually no gun control at all -- but despite that, I voted to ban certain types of semi-automatic weapons. I voted for an instant background check. And I voted to close the loophole that currently exists for gun shows.


Right to choose. Yes or No?

Yes, I have 100% lifetime voting record. I believe a woman has the right to control her own body, and not the government.


What do you think of the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage?

I strongly supported the Supreme Court decision.


What would you ask the white house chef to make for your first meal?

I really haven't thought too much about that.


How many times do you hit snooze in the morning?

I don’t.


How do you take your coffee?

Do you have many of these questions?

No, this is the last one.

With some cream.



Bernie Sanders is a self-described socialist who wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and supports breaking up big banks. He’s also drawing some of the biggest and youngest crowds of any candidate in the race so far -- making the Democratic nomination contest much spicier than the party expected. TBD on whether the momentum will translate into votes.