Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called out the media on Sunday for scrutinizing GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson's personal story, thereby diverting attention away from his policy positions.
“I think it might be a better idea, I know it's a crazy idea, but maybe we focus on the issues impacting the American people and what candidates are saying, rather than just spending so much time exploring their lives of 30 or 40 years ago,” Sanders, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And I think the reason that so many people are turned off to the political process has a lot to do with the fact that we're not talking about the real issues impacting real people.”
Sanders shrugged off the revelations this week that the famed neurosurgeon may have exaggerated key parts of his life story. Instead, consistent with his campaign mantra, Sanders urged voters and the media to focus on policy.
The senator specifically cited some of Carson’s hard-line conservative positions on climate change and health care as issues that have been overshadowed by the numerous reports on about his personal story.
“When you look at Dr. Carson, to the best of my knowledge, this man does not believe that climate change is caused by human activity. This man wants to abolish Medicare, impacting tens of millions of seniors, and this man wants to give huge tax breaks to the rich,” Sanders said.
Carson’s life story, as detailed in his best-selling memoir, Gifted Hands, has been a crucial component of his pitch to Republican voters. But Sanders told host Chuck Todd that while he found the controversy “interesting,” voters ultimately do not care.
“Look, I listened to the interviews with Dr. Carson. And it's interesting," he said. "But you know what, Chuck? The American people want to know why the middle class of this country is disappearing, why we have 47 million people living in poverty, why we have massive income and wealth inequality.”
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