Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders signaled he’ll target Democratic presidential primary opponent Hillary Clinton’s wealth and her Iraq War vote on the campaign trail, he said Tuesday on CNN.
“It’s a problem,” he said when asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about the fact the Clintons made more than $30 million since 2014.
“But a more serious problem is, what do we do about the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in America today?”
The independent senator has become the de-facto presidential pick for progressives wary of Clinton’s candidacy, and has made combating income inequality a central focus of his campaign. On Tuesday, Sanders introduced a bill making public colleges free for all Americans, which he’d pay for with a “very modest” tax on stock trading, which he estimated could bring in as much as $300 billion each year.
Sanders acknowledged that Republicans would never support such a proposal, but said “the American people will go along with it.”
Asked whether that meant he ultimately wanted to raise taxes, Sanders was emphatic: “On the very wealthiest people in this country? Absolutely.”
He also weighed in on a debate that’s gripped the Republican presidential candidates over the past week, and indicated he plans to make it an issue in the Democratic primary as well: The Iraq War.
On Tuesday, Clinton again said her support for the war in 2002 was a mistake.
“I know that there have been a lot of questions about Iraq posed to candidates over the last weeks. I’ve made it very clear that I made a mistake, plain and simple, and I have written about it in my book. I’ve talked about it in the past,” Clinton told reporters in Iowa.
Sanders was a rare vote against the invasion of Iraq in 2002, and said he’ll make Clinton’s vote in favor an issue in their primary fight.
“It’s a fair issue,” Sanders said.
Republicans have been debating whether, knowing that the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction was faulty, the Iraq War was a mistake. But Sanders characterized the issue as one that raises questions about the judgment of those who supported the war.
“What the issue is about — it’s not just looking back in hindsight…I very much opposed the war. I worried about the destabilization it would bring to the region. Hillary Clinton and everybody else had the same information as I had, and I made my decision, she made her decision.”
“You get information, you make the best judgment you can,” he added.