Bernie Sanders (AP/Charlie Riedel)

Bernie Sanders: "Do I need more outreach with the Latino and African-American community? Absolutely!"

The Vermont senator insisted that he has a strong record on African-American issues, as well as on social justice


Scott Eric Kaufman
October 7, 2015 6:24PM (UTC)

Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders appeared on "All In with Chris Hayes" on Tuesday to discuss the issues he believes next week's Democratic debate will focus on -- including gun control in the wake of the Umpqua Community College mass-shooting and his ability to reach minority voters.

"Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a lot of issues," Sanders said. "We disagree on Wall Street and what we should do, whether or not we bring back Glass-Steagall or break up the large banks. We disagree about how high the minimum wage should go, I think it should go to 15 bucks an hour. We disagree about our college plans, I believe she hasn't come up with an opinion yet."

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Sanders also spoke at length about his support for gun control, noting that "I come from a state that has virtually no gun control at all. Yet, I’ve cast some very, very difficult votes in favor of strong gun control. I mean, you're looking at a guy who was a Congressman who voted for strong background checks, instant background checks -- I want to see them made even stronger."

However, he also proffered, unprompted, the preferred argument of anti-gun control conservatives, noting that "in my view we need a revolution in mental health in this country. I believe you have thousands of people walking the streets of America today who are suicidal, who are homicidal."

Hayes asked Sanders how well he believed was doing "building the multiracial coalition that is necessary to succeed in a Democratic primary past Iowa and New Hampshire," to which the Vermont senator replied that although he's now considered "a serious candidate," his campaign does "need to do more outreach to the Latino and African-American community."

"One of the things that we are going to be able to do," he explained, "because 650,000 people, a record-breaking number, have contributed to our campaign, is we are going to have the resources to develop a strong organization in South Carolina, Nevada, and the states that follow."

Sanders added that he has "a strong record of standing up for African-American community -- but more importantly, we have an economic agenda, a social justice agenda, a criminal justice agenda which I think will make sense to the African-American community once they hear it."

Watch the entire interview below via MSNBC.

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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All In With Chris Hayes Bernie Sanders Chris Hayes Elections 2016 Msnbc Video

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