Sanders compares Trump to other divisive ‘demagogues’ on ‘Tonight Show’

Source: Wash post

NEW YORK — Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders took aim at Donald Trump during an appearance Tuesday on “The Tonight Show,” accusing the Republican front-runner of trying to deliberately divide Americans with his plan to ban Muslims from entering the country.

“What somebody like a Trump is trying to do is to divide us up,” Sanders told host Jimmy Fallon during the show’s late afternoon taping. “A few months ago, we were supposed to hate Mexicans. He thinks they’re all criminals or rapists. Now we’re supposed to hate Muslims. And that kind of crap is not going to work in the United States of America.”

Sanders’s appearance on the NBC show came amid a series of planned media interviews in New York on a day that the Vermont senator also visited the Baltimore neighborhood that was home to Freddie Gray, whose death in police custody prompted rioting in that city this spring.

[Bernie Sanders takes a pass on talking about terrorism during Baltimore visit]

The discussion of Trump arose after Fallon noted that either Sanders or Trump could be the nation’s first president from New York, a match-up Sanders said he would relish. (Sanders is from Brooklyn; Trump grew up in Queens.)

“Throughout history, you’ve had demagogues trying to divert attention away from the real issues,” Sanders said. “This country today faces some enormous problems. You know, we have a middle class that is disappearing. We have almost all the wealth and income going to the top 1 percent. We have climate change. We have a corrupt campaign finance system.”

“I think what the American people understand is, given the problems we face, we’ve got to stand together, come together and create a decent life for all of our people and stop the scapegoating of one group or another,” Sanders said.

Trump on Monday called for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States, arguing that it was a necessary step to defend the nation against terrorism. His remarks have been roundly criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike.

Sanders stopped for selfies with fans upon exiting the NBC studios on Tuesday night.

Sanders also appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC on Tuesday night, where he sought to make the case that Democrats need to reach out to voters who are being drawn to Trump and tell them “you have a right to be angry, but don’t take it out on the Muslims.”

“The antidote to Trump is a very strong progressive agenda,” Sanders said, suggesting he could reach Trump voters on economic issues.