What follows is an original report by Jaisal Noor of The Real News Network. Read a transcript of their conversation below or watch the video at the bottom of the post.
JAISAL NOOR: Super Tuesday results are coming in. Voters in 14 states along with American Samoa went to the polls on March 3 to allocate over 1300 delegates, one third of all pledged delegates in the Democratic primary. Voters faced long lines and waited for hours to vote in both Texas and California, tantamount to voter suppression.
Not all the results are in, but as of 8:00 AM on Wednesday, March 4, former Vice President Joe Biden picked up 399 delegates; winning nine states including Virginia, North Carolina, former candidate Amy Klobuchar’s state of Minnesota, and Texas where he was boosted by an endorsement by former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke. Biden’s campaign was boosted after a decisive win in South Carolina and endorsements from former rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.
JOE BIDEN: We won Minnesota because of Amy Klobuchar and we’re doing well in Texas because of Beto O’Rourke.
JAISAL NOOR: As projected, Senator Bernie Sanders won the state of California–the largest delegate count of the night–along with Utah, Colorado, and his home state of Vermont; adding 322 delegates to his total.
BERNIE SANDERS: And when we began this race for the presidency, everybody said it couldn’t be done. But tonight, I tell you with absolute confidence, we are going to win the Democratic nomination and we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country.
JAISAL NOOR: 536 delegates are still to be awarded. Senator Elizabeth Warren placed third in Massachusetts, failing to win her home state and winning only 42 delegates for a total of 50.
ELIZABETH WARREN: My name is Elizabeth Warren. And I’m the woman who is going to beat Donald Trump.
JAISAL NOOR: The Warren Campaign was reportedly assessing the path forward on Wednesday. The former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced he’s dropping out of the race after spending over half a billion dollars on his campaign but failing to win a single state. After top finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire and Nevada vaulted Sanders into front runner status, the Democratic establishment coalesced around Biden, giving him momentum to exceed expectations on Super Tuesday.
But with half of the primary still ahead and seven states voting in primaries on March 10th, it’s unclear if that momentum will hold. The establishment argument against Sanders is that he’s not electable, he’s too extreme, and could cost Democrats control of the House. We got a response to those claims from some of the 10,000 Bernie Sanders rally attendees in Springfield, Virginia on February 29.
So his critics say he’s too radical, he’s a socialist; and they say he’s going to lose to Trump and the Democrats are going to lose the House. How do you respond to that?
SAMI ALAMIRI: Those people who are talking about socialism, they don’t know what socialism means. What does capitalism mean? This is United States of America for everybody. But we have the majority. The middle class people and lower class people have to have the right to have decent life too.
LIZ MUNSEY: I think we have a pretty wide variety of voters here for Sanders–some people who even used to be former Republicans. In 2016, we went with what the establishment Democrats wanted, and we ended up losing that election. So I think we need to put the power back in the people.
JOHN BENTRUP: I think his Democratic Socialism is far different than socialism. He’s definitely not a Communist. People will try to do that, but I think that they’ll be wrong and I think the American public for the most part will see beyond that.
MARQUIS LEWIS: I think that my biggest counterpoint to that is the only Democrats who have to worry about losing if Bernie is at the top of the ticket is if they themselves are not trying to align themselves with Bernie’s vision. If you’re for the Green New Deal, if you’re for Medicare for All, if you’re for the people, the people are going to come and support you.
But if you’re the kind of politician who is like, “Well, the people voted me in, but I’m not really going to do all the issues. I’m not going to take care of the issues that actually matter to them,” then yeah, the people aren’t going to show up for you. But if you have a commitment to people, if you have a commitment to the issues of justice, of love, of trying to create an actual equitable world, the people are going to come for you hands down.
ERIK ESCOBAR: Richard Ojeda in West Virginia was this close, very, very close to winning the congressional seat that he was running for, and he ran on progressive ideas. He didn’t run as a Democrat. He ran as a populist, right. And I think if you focus on ideas like that, if you just focus on the policy proposals, if you focus on anti-establishments, then you can run a campaign down-ballot, down-ticket or otherwise in which you can actually motivate people to go out to vote.
JAISAL NOOR: Bernie’s critics say he’s too far left, he’s a socialist, he has expressed sympathies with Castro in Cuba; and because of those reasons, he’s going to lose to Trump in the general election and they’re going to lose states like purple states like Virginia–he can’t win these states. That is the top argument against him right now. How do you respond to that?
OLIVIA BREWSTER: I respond that we’ve had people in the past that have similar beliefs and people are just labeling him without really knowing what his issues are about.
KATHRYN BREWSTER: My favorite president is FDR and Bernie says he’s the new FDR. And it’s worked before and it can work again, so don’t count it out this time.
JAISAL NOOR: In the past, he’s praised people like Fidel Castro, and because of that, he’s going to lose to Trump.
PUJAN BARAL: So, another news report asked me that today. She said, “Why does Bernie support all these dictators, like from Cuba?” You should have looked at the reaction from the crowd, because everyone started laughing. And she was like, “Why is everyone laughing?”
Because it’s so outrageous that you are saying that this righteous man and this man who is rational on all points of his record, the way he’s been consistent on all of his policies, that he would support such things like an authoritative dictator. As you said, in the South Carolina debate he had the same position as Obama in terms of saying that the education program in Cuba brought an increased literacy rate there.
JIM AMSTER: If somebody at this point in time knows that they’re going to vote for Trump, they’ve already made up their mind and facts won’t change their mind. That’s the America we’re sadly living in today.
Honestly, Bernie Sanders has done a lot to explain how he definitely is praising the literacy programs that were enacted in Cuba that helped literacy. That’s something that we should definitely strive for, better education. And if somebody can’t get on board with that idea and the idea that he wasn’t praising a dictatorship, but rather the positive aspects of an influx of money and effort into an education system, well then… I don’t like that. It’s sad.
JAISAL NOOR: Senator Warren also supports Medicare For All and she and her supporters say she’s got, she’s better in position to actually make it happen, to actually implement that plan. Why not support Senator Warren?
LIZ MUNSEY: So I actually do really like Senator Warren. I think if Bernie weren’t in the race, I’d be supporting her. But there is a level of just raw passion and a longer history of wanting to do the right thing.
LAYLA ALNOZAILY: I also like his stance on issues in the Middle East, like in Yemen and Palestine.
JAISAL NOOR: He is probably the first candidate ever on stage to take such a strong stance in defense of Palestinian rights; called Netanyahu are racist at the debate. How did that make you feel? What was your response?
LAYLA ALNOZAILY: It was so amazing. It was so amazing, especially because he is Jewish, and a lot of people would not expect that from somebody who is Jewish. I feel like he got a lot of Muslim support after doing that. It was very nice.
JAISAL NOOR: You mentioned Yemen. Why is that important to you? And you can talk about what’s happening there?
LAYLA ALNOZAILY: There has actually been a Civil War going on there. I have a lot of family that lives here. My whole dad’s side lives there. The people there, they live off a dollar a day and they’re starving. Half the population is supposed to die by the end of this year of starvation, something that’s so preventable. He was like, took a stand against and he was like, “We need to talk about what’s going on in Yemen.” He had my heart from there.
JAISAL NOOR: Yeah. And it’s funny because a lot of people say, “Bernie hasn’t gotten anything done,” but that was a bipartisan resolution they passed with the Republican Senator. People have called what’s happening in Yemen a genocide and it’s backed by Saudi Arabia.
LAYLA ALNOZAILY: It is. It’s definitely a genocide, and the people are suffering daily because of it. And I appreciate his stance on it and saying that it needs to be dealt with because it’s really important.
JAISAL NOOR: For The Real News, this is Jaisal Noor.Print