Bernie Sanders has pushed Hillary Clinton so far to the left that she’s poised to embrace a Democratic Party platform draft that’s nothing short of radical.
That’s according to a new primer, titled “The Sanders Manifesto” by the Republican-aligned opposition research shop America Rising Squared. The primer argues that the Vermont senator and progressive favorite was the driving force behind a platform draft that’s markedly more liberal than the 2012 Democratic Party Platform and well out of the political mainstream.
“As the party’s soon-to-be-official nominee, Secretary Clinton now owns these radical policies and their consequences on our country,” reads the primer, which was first obtained by POLITICO. “She has no choice, as poll after poll have shown disgruntled Sanders supporters are unwilling to support her without major concessions.”
The entire 187-person Democratic National Committee Platform Committee met in Orlando to approve a draft of the 2016 platform that will go to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia for ratification in late July.
America Rising Squared lists four policy areas where Sanders pushed the Democratic Party to the left: energy, minimum wage, health care, and education. Sanders has made molding the party platform a top priority of his campaign, and made clear his formal endorsement of Clinton was contingent on the outcome. Over the weekend, Sanders allies managed to insert language calling for an increased federal minimum wage, expanding Social Security and endorsing a “reasoned pathway to future legalization of marijuana.”
“The Democrat Party Platform endorses a nationwide $15 minimum wage, including for tipped employees,” the primer reads. “This overreaching policy would hurt the key workers it’s intended to help, resulting in over 6 million job losses.”
America Rising Squared’s primer also notes Sanders’ role in shaping energy policy.
“The Democrat Party Platform calls for a new National Tax on Energy,” the primer reads. The platform also institutes outright bans and limits on drilling that currently supports more than 9 million jobs. By comparison, the 2012 Democratic Platform endorsed an ‘all of the above’ energy policy — a far different approach from this year’s platform— indicating how far the party has shifted to the left.”
On both health care and education, the primer notes that the 2016 draft is markedly more progressive than the 2012 version. The 2016 draft calls for a public option, which Sanders has praised. The new draft also calls for making community college free of charge, a nod to Sanders’ calls for free tuition at public colleges and universities. America Rising Squared argues that Clinton and Sanders are both moving toward unrealistic education plans.
“After repeatedly mocking Bernie Sanders’ plan for free college, Clinton came out with a similar proposal last week that was lauded by Sanders and his supporters. Despite experts questioning her plan, Clinton now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Sanders and his radical allies by backing free college programs,” wrote the GOP group.
Last week, Clinton inched closer to Sanders’ position on tuition-free public colleges and universities by adjusting her higher education plan so that eventually families with incomes up to $125,000 a year would not have to pay tuition at public colleges and universities.
America Rising Squared executive director Brian Rogers argued that Clinton made a politically expedient decision to allow Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another liberal favorite, to decide the shape of the Democratic Party’s policy agenda.
“One only needs to read the Democrat Party Platform approved this weekend to know that Hillary Clinton has sold the farm for the endorsement of the Democrats’ true ideological leaders — Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren,” Rogers said in a statement accompanying the primer. “That document completes the avowed socialist Sanders’ quest to push his party far to the left, endorsing the most serious attack on the American free enterprise system in our nation’s recent history.”