Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., said Tuesday he is looking to engage with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on trade and financial issues at the upcoming Democratic presidential primary debate.
Democrats vying for their party’s nomination will face off for the first time in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 13. Though accusations of a fractured party are usually thrown at Republicans, the debate will likely highlight rifts within the Democratic party, and Sanders appears to be looking to utilize those divisions to garner support from the more progressive wings of the party.
“I look forward to an exchange of ideas with Secretary Clinton. She and I have significant disagreements on a number of issues,” Sanders told reporters after a Capitol Hill rally where he announced he would introduce a bill to help workers unionize. He notably did not reference any of the other candidates, such as former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, which could indicate that Sanders plans to engage directly with Clinton, the party’s front-runner.
“As you know the [Trans Pacific Partnership] was just negotiated, I believe yesterday,” Sanders continued. “I strongly oppose TPP because I think it’s part of disastrous trade policies which has cost us millions of decent paying jobs. I’m not aware that the secretary has an opinion on that.”
Clinton has not yet announced her position on the trade agreement, but she said in June that she would have voted against Trade Promotion Authority , which granted the president fast-track authority to negotiate the Pacific trade agreement. The TPA vote divided congressional Democrats, and approving TPP will likely do the same .
Sanders also pointed to financial and banking issues when asked about the upcoming debate.
“I believe that we have to re-establish Glass Steagall on Wall Street, that we cannot allow these huge mergers which are creating incredibly powerful mega-banks to continue,” Sanders said, referring to banking provisions that were repealed during President Bill Clinton’s administration. “And I think we also have got to be breaking up these large financial institutions.”
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