The media are to blame for Donald Trump’s success, Sen. Bernie Sanders said in an interview with CNN, in which he argued that a focus on the billionaire’s “bombastic” and “silly” comments has distorted the presidential campaign.
A recent study showed that over one stretch this fall, “on ABC evening news, Trump over a period of time got 81 minutes of time. Bernie Sanders got 20 seconds. Now you tell me why," Sanders said.
“I think it has to do with the fact that Trump is very smart,” he continued. “He knows that media is not so interested in the serious issues facing this country. They love bombastic remarks.
“I think this is more of an indictment of the media than it is Trump,” he said.
CNN host Chris Cuomo, who interviewed Sanders, objected that “you can’t just wipe off all this popularity that he has with a growing base of the GOP. They’re putting him first in the polls not because of the media. They say they hate the media. They just love Trump.”
But Sanders challenged Trump’s credibility as an actual presidential candidate, saying he was offering extreme, unfeasible solutions to the country’s problems, such as deporting all illegal immigrants and refusing to allow any Muslims into the country.
“Well, that is not the solution to our problems,” he said. “That is simply scapegoating minorities, playing one group off against one another. It’s what demagogues have always done.
“[Americans] are worried to death about their kids, and they’re worried about the economy,” he added.
Real solutions require more than a 60-second sound bite, Sanders said.
“These are the kinds of debates that we have to have,” Sanders said. “And I would urge and beg the media to allow us to have that debate and not just pick up on Trump’s one-liners.”