(WASHINGTON POST)Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders took aim at Donald Trump during an appearance Tuesday on “The Tonight Show,” accusing the Republican front-runner of trying to deliberately divide Americans with his plan to ban Muslims from entering the country.
“What somebody like a Trump is trying to do is to divide us up,” Sanders told host Jimmy Fallon. “A few months ago, we were supposed to hate Mexicans. He thinks they’re all criminals or rapists. Now we’re supposed to hate Muslims. And that kind of crap is not going to work in the United States of America.”
Sanders’s appearance on the NBC program came amid a series of planned media interviews in New York on a day that the Vermont senator also visited the Baltimore neighborhood that was home to Freddie Gray, whose death in police custody prompted rioting in that city this spring.
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The discussion of Trump arose after Fallon noted that either Sanders or Trump could be the nation’s first president from New York, a matchup Sanders said he would relish. (Sanders is from Brooklyn; Trump grew up in Queens.)
“Throughout history, you’ve had demagogues trying to divert attention away from the real issues,” Sanders said. “This country today faces some enormous problems. You know, we have a middle class that is disappearing. We have almost the wealth and income going to the top 1 percent. We have climate change. We have a corrupt campaign finance system.”
“I think what the American people understand is, given the problems we face, we’ve got to stand together, come together and create a decent life for all of our people and stop the scapegoating of one group or another,” Sanders said.