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Sen Bernie Sanders triggered a series of reactions on social media after Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles with a comment he asked as a presenter on the recent comments of Ex-President Barack Obama.
“Senator Sanders, you are started, the oldest candidate on the stage … “Politico magazine’s Tim Alberta.
“And I’m white as well,” says the 78-year-old Sanders threw, before Alberta was able to finish.
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“Yes,” said Sanders, in the midst of what seemed like an awkward silence at Loyola Marymount University. Alberta then continued with his question.
“How do you react to what he had to say former President?”
Alberta had asked Sanders to respond to comments Obama made in Singapore earlier in the week.
“The former President Obama said this week when asked who should be running the country, if the women were in charge, you would see a marked improvement on pretty much everything,” Alberta pointed out. “He also said, ‘If you look at the world, and the views of the problems that it’s usually old people, mostly old men, which is not always out of the way.'”
Sanders replied: “I have a lot of respect for Barack Obama. I don’t think I agree with him on this one”, prompting some audible laughter from the audience. “Maybe a little selfish, but I refuse.”
Then he said, the United States has always been an “oligarchy” with an economy that only serves the “one percent”.
“Here’s the Problem. The question is where the power lives in America. And it is not black or white or male or female. We live in a nation becoming more and more an oligarchy. We have a handful of billionaires who buy spend hundreds of millions of dollars, elections and politicians.
“You have more income and wealth inequality today than at any time since the 1920s. We are the only major country on earth, not the health guarantee care for all people, that is why we need Medicare-for-all. We are facing an existential crisis, climate change…
“The question is not old or young or male or female,” Sanders continued. “The question is, working people get up. To take on the billionaire class. And the creation of a government and an economy for all the works. Not just the one percent.”
But some critics on social media fired back at Sanders, said, that it be age, gender, and race were all factors that helped him.
“But @Bernie would otherwise make us believe that a White man wrote not to him, and be the same no systemic advantages,” a Twitter user.
Other accused Sanders, a hypocrite-given that he criticized the rich, but reportedly owns three apartments.
Several pointed to what they described as “awkward silence” and “crickets” in the crowd to Sanders’ “I know,” to swing quip failed. But most of all the people online seemed to be unsure of what the comment meant. Some Sanders asked to explain what he wanted to say, while others had their own interpretations.
“Is that as “White Supremacy” ???” one user wrote, tagging, Sanders and Obama.
Another user asked: “Can you elaborate on how you to this answer?”
“AH! “And I” do not Know is the sticker Bernie Sanders needs,” a third in mixed.
A user seemed to be defending Sanders, said that a white man was now as “political baggage.”
“Of course, white men have privileges. But in today’s environment, as well as political baggage. There is a question about the diversity and on this side, all against Sanders. It was a self-derogatory moment,” she wrote.
One person praised the remark, said Sanders was recognize his own “white privilege.”
“Bernie Sanders, so far, is the only white candidate to say this, tonight, and realize white privilege. I think that’s worth something,” Charlotte wrote Clymer.
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Another user said Sanders’ remark was “his index finger, the gender and racial purity-test of the left-hand side. Basically saying to stop (fake) distracted on what gender or race I am and hear what I have to say.”
The debate came a day after a controversial vote to accuse President Donald Trump, who showed, in dramatic relief, as the nation is polarized about his presidency. With the Republican-controlled Senate is likely to acquit him, the stakes are high for the Democrats to choose a Challenger that can defeat trump in November.
The forum highlighted the choice, the Democrats have to guess between progressive and fashion, older and younger, men and women, and the problems that affect the small-but-crucial segment of voters that determine the election. The candidates fiercely at odds over the role of money in politics, the value and importance of experience and the direction of the American health care system
The Associated Press contributed to this report.