WATCH: Bernie Sanders applauds #NotMyPresident protesters for "exercising their constitutional rights"

"How are we losing these elections?" the Vermont Sen. asked

By Brendan Gauthier
Published November 15, 2016 1:11PM (EST)

"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert on Monday evening scored an interview with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders responded to conflation of his leftist populism with what some perceive to be President-elect Donald Trump's rightist populism.

"At the end of the campaign, Trump was posing as a 'hero' of the working class of America," Sanders said. "Now, I happen not to believe him."

"I hope I'm wrong," he amended. "And I hope in fact he does follow through on some of his ideas about creating jobs and raising wages. But ... I think what the punditry and the establishment does not understand, there are a lot of people in this country who are suffering, who are hurting, who are scared to death about tomorrow for their kids, and he tapped into that anxiety."

Sanders said he supports the #NotMyPresident protests in cities across America.

"I think people are expressing their feelings," he said, "they're exercising their constitutional rights."

"What we have to figure out is, where do we go from here," he added. "This is the reality."

Sanders argued "something is fundamentally wrong" with the Democratic establishment's approach to the modern election process that allowed the least liked candidate in history to become commander-in-chief.

"Please do not think that all of the people who voted for Donald Trump agree with his sentiments about women or African-Americans, or his rejection of the science regarding climate change. They don't," he said. "But for a variety of reasons, they did end up voting for him."

"Our job now is, in my view, to figure out how we create an effective opposition," he continued. "The truth is, Democrats should not be losing to a candidate who insults so many people, who wants to give huge tax breaks to the top two-tenths of 1 percent, and who rejects climate change. How are we losing these elections?"

Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

MORE FROM Brendan GauthierFOLLOW @BuzzFeedBrandon

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Elections 2016 Late Show #notmypresident Stephen Colbert