Sanders calls for Michigan governor to resign over Flint water crisis

Story highlights

  • Sanders said there were "no excuses" for the prolonged water issues in Flint
  • "The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint's water. He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned," Sanders said

Charleston, South Carolina (CNN)Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday called for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to resign over Flint's drinking water crisis.

Sanders said there were "no excuses" for the prolonged water issues in Flint, which started two years ago when the state choose to switch the city's water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River in an effort to save money.
"The governor long ago knew about the lead in Flint's water. He did nothing. As a result, hundreds of children were poisoned," Sanders said in a statement. "Thousands may have been exposed to potential brain damage from lead. Gov. Snyder should resign."
    Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Friday he will investigate the water crisis to determine whether any Michigan laws have been violated.
    A class action lawsuit has been filed against the state, arguing that the state Department of Environmental Quality was negligent for not treating the Flint River water with an anti-corrosive agent. The water was then corroding pipes, which filed iron and lead into the water.
    "Because of the conduct by Gov. Snyder's administration and his refusal to take responsibility, families will suffer from lead poisoning for the rest of their lives," Sanders said. "Children in Flint will be plagued with brain damage and other health problems. The people of Flint deserve more than an apology."
    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she was outraged by the water crisis and the handling of the crisis by Snyder, a Republican. But she has yet to call on him to resign.
    As president, Clinton said in an interview with MSNBC on Thursday, "I would be doing everything I could, and I would be expecting everybody in a position of authority to do the same."
    Sanders' statement on Saturday came hours before President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Flint and ordered federal aid to help with the state and local response, including offering grants for temporary housing and home repairs.