Bernie Sanders Rallies Progressives, Says ‘We Cannot Go Back to Business As Usual’ if Biden Wins

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has rallied his supporters to back Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden against Donald Trump, but insisted progressives should see defeating the Republican as a “first step” for change.

Sanders, who previously ran against Biden for the Democratic candidacy before dropping out of the race and backing him, spoke of a change from “business as usual” should Trump be ousted.

“Defeating Trump is necessary as a first step, but we cannot—and must not—go back to business as usual,” he said.

Expanding upon this, he said there must be a “very different” vision for America.

“Progressives today understand that if we’re going to stand up for working families, stand up for the poor, stand up for the children, stand up for the elderly and the disabled, stand up for the minority communities that are under attack all across this country, if we’re going to transform our country, we must have the courage to think big not small and have the courage to envisage a very different kind of America and a very different set of national priorities,” he said.

“My friends, before the pandemic in the wealthiest nation on earth half of our people were living paycheck to paycheck. And millions were earning starvation wages. And since the pandemic, that situation has gotten even worse. Millions have lost their jobs, their income, their healthcare.”

He pointed out that billionaires are doing “phenomenally well” and called for an “economy that works for working families.”

“And that’s what the progressive movement is all about,” he said.

Newsweek has contacted Sanders and the Biden campaign for comment.

It is not the first time Sanders has suggested there needs to be change in the Democratic approach, having said previously that “for many, many years the Democratic Party has not paid the kind of attention to working-class needs that they should’ve.”

In April, Sanders officially endorsed Biden and said he said he wanted “all Americans, every Democrat, every independent and a lot of Republicans to come together” to support Biden, branding Trump in his opinion the “most dangerous president in the modern history of this country.”