State News

Sen. Bernie Sanders promotes Jan. 15 “day of action” against health care cuts

Poster board bearing a blown up Trump tweet goes viral
By Kevin O’Connor, VTDigger

Bernie Sanders may not have won the 2016 U.S. presidential race, but the Vermont senator — former presidential candidate turned chairman of his chamber’s Democratic Party outreach — can claim last year’s highest number of Sunday show appearances (70, double President-elect Donald Trump’s 36, MSNBC calculates), an No. 1 best-seller (his campaign memoir, “Our Revolution”) and “The Ad That Moved People the Most” [(his minute-long Simon & Garfunkel “America” spot, The New York Times reports).
With the change in the calendar, Sanders now appears to want to conquer every other medium.
The former Democratic presidential candidate, targeting Republican plans to cut the Affordable Care Act and other health care subsidies, is tapping a variety of outlets to sound the alarm — and promote a nationwide series of Jan. 15 “day of action” protests.
“Millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump after he promised not to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,” Sanders has written to congressional colleagues in a letter also signed by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “He must be held to his promises and should veto any legislation which cuts these vital and necessary health programs.”
To publicize the point, the Vermonter is taking to the airwaves, be it through interviews last week with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and NPR’s David Greene or a prime-time CNN “town hall” coming Monday night.
“I happen to believe that the Democratic Party has been not doing a good job in terms of communicating with people in cities, in towns and in rural America, all over this country,” Sanders told NPR.
That’s why the newly named “chair of outreach” for Senate Democrats walked into his chamber last week with a poster board bearing a blowup of the 2015 @realDonaldTrump tweet “I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.”
“Either Donald Trump lied to the American people,” Sanders told his colleagues, “or he’s got to say that he will veto any cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.”
That’s when the copy-and-paste placard went viral.
Reported NBC: “Bernie Sanders makes big statement with oversized Trump tweet.”
U.S. News & World Report: “Bernie Sanders is an Internet sensation once again because of a poster board.”
Time: “Here are the most hilarious memes of Bernie Sanders’ giant Donald Trump tweet poster.”
“While Sanders relied on the giant poster in service of his argument challenging the plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” the latter story noted, “the opportunity spotters of the Internet used the photo to find the humor in the situation by turning the canvas into their own lighthearted jokes about everything from shirtless Sting to Cecil the Lion.”
The question now: Who’ll have the last laugh?
“Activism means participating in the political process, rallying the American people to stand up and fight for what they believe in,” Sanders told NPR. “We’ve got to get out there.”

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