Bernie Sanders

Sanders on ‘Tonight’: Young Voters, High Turnout Keys to Defeating Trump

In a candid conversation with Jimmy Fallon, Sen. Bernie Sanders discussed the future of his 2020 presidential campaign after suffering a string of losses in the past few weeks

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Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" Wednesday night, opening with: "I'm feeling good. Could feel better."

Sanders, the early front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential race, suffered another in a series of recent blows to his campaign on Tuesday, or "Super Tuesday 2.0," as rival Joe Biden won four of the six states at stake, including the big prize of the night, Michigan. Sanders came out victorious in just one state: North Dakota. NBC News has not yet projected a winner for Washington state.

Sanders told Fallon the Democratic National Committee has been pressuring him to suspend his campaign, just as it did with former candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Although he currently trails Biden in delegates, Sanders still believes he can win the democratic nomination. He announced Wednesday before appearing on "Tonight" that he will continue his campaign after Tuesday's setbacks.

"We have introduced an agenda that I think the American people now support," he told Fallon.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks on Donald Trump's mistakes handling the coronavirus pandemic and how his grandkids influence his politics.

That agenda includes raising the minimum wage, introducing "Medicare for All" and affordable college tuition and expanding paid sick leave. He said he finds a lot of young voters support these ideas in particular.

"The young people of this country are on our side," Sanders said.

Sanders candidly acknowledged his campaign's weaknesses thus far, most notably that people still think Biden is the more electable candidate -- due in part to the fact that he was Barack Obama's vice president.

Sanders added that if Biden were the nominee, he could beat Trump, who many people see as "racist," "sexist," and someone who "has never read the Constitution." However, Sanders cautioned that Trump will be a tough opponent to whomever is the Democratic nominee.

"Trump is not going to be easy to beat," he said. "I think you need a campaign of energy and excitement."

Next up, Sanders will face Biden in a debate Sunday night -- the first since the race narrowed to just two candidates. Sanders said he is looking forward to the opportunity to speak more in-depth about issues that matter to voters.

"We are actually going to be able to discuss the issues impacting the families of America," he said.

Among those issues will most likely be the current administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

When Fallon asked about Trump's handling of the outbreak, Sanders said Trump has been worried about the Democratic primary and not focusing enough on properly addressing the spread of the virus and stabilizing the stock market.

"We have a president who doesn't believe in science," he added.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders give very different speeches after receiving the Super Tuesday results.

To restore confidence to the American people, Sanders said the U.S. government needs to make sure everyone, regardless of income, can see a doctor if they're feeling sick, take paid family and medical leave and get the coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available.

Fallon closed out the interview by asking Sanders whether his seven grandkids are the motivation behind his running for president. The senator responded that he's running for them and for all of the other kids who live in the United States -- a nation which, he believes, is the wealthiest in the world but also has great wealth disparity between the upper and lower classes.

"If we honestly believe that we are a democracy, we gotta end billionaire rule and create an economy and a government that works for all of us," he concluded.

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