Bernie Sanders is a guy who has a lot of advice for the Democratic Party, despite the fact that he doesn’t consider himself a member.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, the Vermont senator was asked if he identifies as a member of the Democratic Party after running to be the party’s presidential nominee.
“No, I’m an Independent,” Sanders responded.
Currently, Sanders is taking part in a “unity tour” with the Democratic National Committee’s new chairman, Tom Perez. The two are traveling across the country in what they’re calling the “Come Together and Fight Back Tour” in an effort to mobilize the party’s grassroots.
“If the Democratic Party is going to succeed—and I want to see it succeed —it’s gonna have to open its door to independents,” Sanders told Hayes. “There are probably more independents in this country than Democrats or Republicans. It’s got to open its doors to working people and to young people, create a grassroots party. That’s what we need.”
Sanders repeatedly faced criticism during the 2016 Democratic primary for his refusal to join the party. California Senator Barbara Boxer tweeted, “Bernie is a Democrat ‘some days’,” back in February of 2016. In response, Sanders responded “Of course I am a Democrat and running for the Democratic nomination.”
Back in 1985, Sanders said “I am not now, nor have I ever been, a liberal Democrat.” During his days as a local Burlington politician, Sanders allegedly said his “goal was to destroy Democrats.”