Democrats must overhaul party, attack big business, Sanders says
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a federal contract workers rally to celebrate Andrew Puzder's decision to withdraw from consideration to be secretary of labor, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 16, 2017.
Former U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Sunday urged a major overhaul of his party, calling for more aggressive efforts to court working-class voters and fight big businesses from Wall Street to the pharmaceutical sector.
Sanders, who spoke a day after Democrats chose Tom Perez, a veteran of former President Barack Obama’s administration, as their new party chairman, said it was also crucial for progressives to do more to mobilize grassroots supporters to take on Republican President Donald Trump.
“We need a total transformation,” the 75-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“We need to open up the party to working people, to young people and make it crystal clear that the Democratic Party is going to take on Wall Street, it’s going to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, it’s going to take on corporate America that is shutting down plants in this country and moving our jobs abroad,” he added.
Democrats are struggling to recover from an electoral rout in November in which they lost not only the White House, but both chambers of the U.S. Congress. Republicans won the governor’s office in 33 states, up from 31, and increased their dominance in state legislatures.