Democratic presidential frontrunner and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said on 60 Minutes Sunday that if elected president, he would “absolutely” be willing to use military force if it was needed to defend the U.S. against enemies or to help allies around the world, the Washington Examiner reports.
“Threats against the American people, to be sure. Threats against our allies. I believe in NATO,”Sanders said in response to a question about the circumstances under which he would use force. “I believe that the United States, everything being equal, should be working with other countries in alliance, not doing it alone.”
Sanders said that he would consider the use of force necessary, for example, if China attacked Taiwan. “That’s something, yeah,” Sanders said. “I mean, I think we have got to make it clear to countries around the world that we will not sit by and allow invasions to take place, absolutely.”
The senator from Vermont also indicated an openness to meeting with adversaries such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, as President Donald Trump has done. Sanders criticized Trump, however, for being unprepared to engage in discussions with the North Korean leader and likened their previous encounters to a “photo op.”
Sanders leads the pack
After a decisive Nevada caucus win over the weekend, Sanders has become the clear front runner in a previously muddled field. National polling now shows Sanders with a commanding lead over his challengers for the Democratic Party nomination, according to The Hill.
Sanders’ dominance has caused alarm among some Democrats, however, who fear that his radical views will be a serious detriment in a head-to-head matchup against Trump.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews said on Saturday that the Democratic Party would be better off with another four years of Trump than if Sanders were to win the White House. Matthews has disparaged Sanders throughout his rise to front runner status, opining that he would be a “miserable” president and that he would probably lose 49 states to Trump in the general election, according to the Washington Examiner.
Matthews also explained that his negative view of socialism originated during the Cold War era, and as such, his bias against someone who “took the other side” in that conflict is difficult for him to overcome, especially since Sanders has a history of defending communist dictators such as Cuba’s Fidel Castro, as he did again during the 60 Minutes interview.
It’s no wonder that the extremely weak crop of Democrats seeking the nomination has resulted in Sanders’ front runner status, as moderate voters have continued to split their votes among several different candidates.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has been plagued by lingering accusations of corruption and constant gaffes that have voters seriously questioning his fitness for the Oval Office. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been haunted by concerns about her honesty on matters such as her purported Native American heritage as well as whether she sent her children to public school.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have waited too long to enter the race — he did not appear on the ballot in the Nevada caucus, and he will be similarly absent from the South Carolina primary ballot. His next opportunity to garner delegates will not come until Super Tuesday on March 3. Furthermore, Bloomberg continues to be dogged by allegations concerning mistreatment of women in his employ and derogatory comments about minorities, farmers and blue-collar workers.
Political pundits are beginning to discuss the very real possibility of a brokered Democratic convention in which so-called superdelegates could upend primary outcomes in favor of an establishment pick. Given the internal strife and outright warfare such an approach would likely prompt within the party, Democrats really are between a rock and a hard place as a result of Sanders’ ascent.