Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) attributed the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union to dissatisfaction over the global economy, but declined to offer his opinion on the decision itself.
In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, Sanders expressed concern about “the breaking down of international cooperation,” noting the important role that the EU has played in bringing peace to Europe.
“Europe in the 20th century, as we all know -- the kind of blood that we shed there is unimaginable -- you never want to see that again,” he said.
But Sanders went on to argue that the vote for a British exit, or “Brexit,” reflected some of the same economic frustrations that propelled his insurgent presidential candidacy.
“What this vote is about is an indication that the global economy is not working for everybody,” he said. “It’s not working in the United States for everybody and it’s not working in the U.K. for everybody. When you see investors going to China and shutting down factories in this country and laying off, over a period of many years, millions of people, people are saying you know what, global economy may be great for some people but not for me.”
Sanders proposed strengthening global ties while ensuring that people can live in dignity.
“So what we need to do is create a situation where there is some more international cooperation. We put an end to these horrific wars that we have seen over the years,” he concluded. “But at the same time we do not forget about the people left behind and we make sure we have jobs, and income, and health care for all of our people.”
Sanders twice declined to explicitly say whether he agreed or disagreed with the Brexit decision.
“I’ll let the people of the U.K. make that decision,” he said.
Unlike Sanders, Clinton did not reflect on the Brexit vote’s broader political implications in a statement on the vote.
“We respect the choice the people of the United Kingdom have made,” Clinton said. “Our first task has to be to make sure that the economic uncertainty created by these events does not hurt working families here in America.”
Clinton managed to use the opportunity to offer veiled criticism of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.
“This time of uncertainty only underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House,” she said.