Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said he will use the popularity and leverage he gained during the primaries to push Clinton to the left if she wins the election in November.
In an interview with the Washington Post published on Monday, Sanders said the Democratic Party was “more progressive” than its nominee. Sanders said it was his responsibility to ensure that the party implements the platform his supporters and allies helped create. The senator said he would “vigorously” oppose Clinton if she abandons the progressive elements of the platform.
Noting that his campaign won 22 states during the primaries, Sanders said, “The leverage that I think I take into the Senate is taking on the entire Democratic Party establishment.”
Sanders said he intends to use that leverage.
The Vermont senator also emphasized that he would not be intimidated by a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, acknowledging that his proposals would likely not be well received. He pledged to hold Republicans accountable if they attempted to block measures that are important to him and his supporters, including making public college tuition-free and increasing the minimum wage.
“The Democratic Party, before they start compromising, has got to rally the American people around our ideas and make it clear that if Republicans do not go along with reasonable ideas to benefit the middle class and the working class, they are going to pay a very heavy political price,” Sanders said.