Taking on Trump

Bernie’s Jewish upbringing qualifies him to challenge Trump on white supremacy: top aide

Gage Skidmore

Senator Bernie Sanders speaking with supporters at a campaign rally for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Central High School in Phoenix, Arizona November 6, 2016

Jeff Weaver, a senior advisor on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, said on Monday that the Vermont senator’s Jewish background puts him in a strong position to challenge President Donald Trump on white supremacy. 

During the 2016 presidential race, Sanders — who would be the first Jewish president if elected — was reluctant to talk about his religious background. But now, falling behind Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in recent public opinion polls, Sanders is reportedly facing growing pressure from his advisors to discuss his upbringing on the trail. 

“Senator Sanders has spoken out quite forcefully on the issue of white supremacy. As you well know, his political career came out of the civil rights movement,” Weaver explained to reporters on a conference call. “He grew up in an ethnic community in which many people still wore numbers on their arms from the Holocaust. Much of his father’s family were killed in the Holocaust. So Bernie Sanders is extremely and very personally familiar with the impact of white supremacy and how it can be taken to levels of barbarism in [an] advanced and industrial country.”

Weaver added: “It is an unfortunate conversation that we have to have, but in terms of its impact on the race, we really look at it more as a moral question than a political one. But certainly in terms of politics, I think Bernie Sanders is well-positioned to speak about white supremacy [and] its impact in a very real and personal way.” 

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