Madison, Wisconsin – Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Came out here on the open air with occasional snowy spots and launched an attack on President Trump. He described him as a "pathological liar" in a Trump important state victory in 2016.
He repeated Saturday Saturday in a union hall in Michigan, another state of Trump. "The deepest lie of all was that he said he wanted to join the working class in this country," Sanders said.
Bubble-ridden attacks on the president reflect Sanders' risky strategy of reaching Trump voters – people the president said would support him, even if he shot someone. It is a sharp contrast to other Democratic candidates who focus on mobilizing Trump opponents. It is no coincidence that it is a way to signal to Democrats that Sanders' best hope is to shake off Trump at a time when many fear he is the opposite.
The most striking example of this strategy will be on Monday night when Sanders appears at a Fox News Channel Town Hall meeting, an outlawed outlet by one of many Democrats, and one that has prevented the party from having a debate. Sanders says it's important to talk directly to Fox audiences and tell them that Trump has seduced them.
Sanders' approach in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania is facing a major test, which is all part of his current election campaign in which many white working-class voters in 2016 were attracted to Trump's fiery populist message. Sanders argues that he can reclaim these voters by convincing them of the economic relief that they have always sought.
But many Democrats across the country are unconvinced, even though they increasingly fear Sanders will have a real chance at the nomination, given his solid support and the deeply broken Democratic field, which has and counts 18 candidates.
Some fear that a national ticket, led by a seventy-year-old democratic socialist seeking to transform the government, will alienate the political center – not just that Trump will help secure a second term, but the recent achievements of democratic legislators in the US Suburbs destroyed.
If Sanders "wins the nomination, Trump will again be president," said MP Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.). "I will guarantee it."
Many of the Democratic achievements in the 2018 elections were made by candidates who were not in Sanders form, even in two of the states he has visited in recent days.
In Wisconsin and Michigan, the Democrats called more traditional candidates for the governor and won both seats from the Republicans. Some Democrats say a similar model is the way to victory in 2020.
Trump will help Sanders as the face of the Democratic Party, as the Fox appearance might do, rather than hurt him, they claim.
The divide between Sanders and Sanders reflects a dilemma in the heart of the democratic primaries: should the party nominate a democratic version of Trump that can compete with its resilience, inspire liberals and begin the fight with the president? Or should there be a consensus builder who can rise above the country's partial anger and bring people together?
This issue could become even more important in the coming weeks with the expected candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden's bipartisan approach would contrast the "unifiers" of the field – Biden, Senator Cory Booker (DN.J.) and former Congressman Beto O Rourke – and his more aggressive partisans, such as Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D). Mass).).
Democratic concerns over Sanders reflect some of the attacks Trump and his allies are making against the Senator. The Republicans have signaled that they would like to run against him. They said they could express his policy as extreme and link him to the Democrats.
Trump's comments on Sanders were two-sided, insulting him at the same time and building him up. Last year, Trump fought the senator he calls "Crazy Bernie" for rejecting Trump-backed health insurance policies, tweeting, "Crazy Bernie and his gang of Congressional Dems will ban these plans." Disaster!
When Sanders entered the race earlier this year, Trump told reporters: "I like Bernie." He endeavors to file lawsuits from Sanders' loyalists, who abused him in 2016 by the Democratic Party. "I think he was exploited," Trump said at an Oval Office signing ceremony. "I thought what happened to Bernie Sanders four years ago is pretty sad."
Sanders & # 39; s Campaign Manager now calls Trump "faux Bernie Sanders" in trade, emphasizing the protection of American workers. In Sanders' first campaign this year, an introductory speaker quoted the label "Crazy Bernie" as a badge of honor.
Sanders broke into Trump's revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement at his rally in Michigan on Saturday, calling it inadequate in terms of OSH and urging the President to do away with it.
All this creates a fascinating backdrop for Sanders' Fox appearance. Fox is Trump's favorite network and has good relationships with some of his hosts. Sanders's appearance on Fox to tell viewers that the president is a pathological liar could provoke one of the president's indignant answers.
In his first two months as a candidate, Sanders made a quick fundraising start, attracting many viewers and showing impressive performances in early polls.
Even so, Sanders rallies in the mid-west of recent days have not attracted the same masses as its opening events in New York and Chicago earlier this year. The audience has shown some signs of hostility towards current and former rivals; Mark Craig, 66, accidentally trumped Trump and Hillary Clinton when he told Sanders during his Saturday speech in Warren, Mich.
The next phase of his campaign, officials said, will focus on activating a voluntary army of more than a million people and convincing voters to vote.
Campaign manager Faiz Shakir described this phase as "continuing to answer the question that I think is one of the most critical questions in this race: who is the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump?" He argued that Sanders was "uniquely positioned".
Sanders supporters say that voters are deeply frustrated and are looking for a leader who will shake things up. They note that eleven percent of voters who voted for Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primary were voted in the parliamentary elections for Trump. Another 8 percent voted for smaller party candidates, and Sanders & # 39; Lager argues that he also has a shot with them.
Anita Cox, a 52-year-old teacher who had a Saturday "Feel the Bern" button at the Sanders meeting in Indiana, said she knew the Trump voters Sanders could win. "Maybe they believed his lies," Cox said.
At a Sanders show in Michigan, Christina Fong, who supported Sanders in 2016, said she knows some people who voted for Sanders and then Trump. Sanders can win her back, she said.
"Unfortunately, people are often very angry, and sometimes they displace that trouble," said Fong, a 54-year-old Grand Rapids musician. "So they stay angry about what he's getting into," she added, referring to Sanders.
But many Democratic leaders are watching Sanders with concern, believing that the better choice to beat Trump is a less hostile messenger with a more moderate message. It's one of the only ways Democrats could lose in 2020 by nominating someone who does not embody diversity or connect with centrists.
"I do not think anyone is basically socialism. I really do not do that, "said Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), Who won reelection last year in a state that Trump won in 2016.
Sanders' dissatisfactory adoption of a Medicare-for-all health plan that would effectively eliminate private insurance also worries some party workers. Democrats would have won in 2018 by making the GOP's health plans extreme, they say, and they would not want to see the tables turned over in 2020.
"I think when people find out that certain candidates want to take away people's employer-sponsored health care, it will be very worrying for some Democrats, especially in some of these affluent suburbs," said Ian Russell, former executive director of the Democratic Party Congressional Campaign Committee that coordinates the house campaigns of the party.
Sanders campaigned several times for midwestern Midwest Democrats in the run up to the midterms of 2018, but most of his candidates had lost. For example, the Kansas puppy Brent Welder and the Iowa American Pete D'Alessandro were defeated in the primaries of the House by more moderate Democrats who won in November.
Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Reelected in a ruby state, said his voters want a consensus maker at the top of the ticket, "someone who can govern, who passes over, not just across the aisle, but within of the various groups within the Democratic Party. He declined to discuss Sanders qualification.
In many ways, the Democrats' current momentum bears resemblance to the republican landscape in 2016 when Trump triumphed: a party unsure how to deal with a harsh populist outside of its traditional ranks, a crowded field that to his advantage and an unpredictable political position plays climate.
For their part, Republicans say they would like to run against Sanders.
"If you speak for North Carolina, if America had the choice between a self-proclaimed socialist democrat and a free-market capitalist, he loses," said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N, C.), who is ready for re-election. "Period, end of story."
Of course, in 2016 Democrats said the same thing about Trump. And many in the party signal that they recognize the political attraction of Sanders positions.
When Sanders unveiled his "Medicare-for-all bill" on Wednesday, he had 13 co-sponsors, including four of his presidential rivals. One of them, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), appeared at a press conference with Sanders.
In another echo of the 2016 Trump phenomenon, Sanders' rivals are wary of what they're saying about him, fearing to start a feud and attract the wrath of his followers.
When she left the Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Warren, who also wants the nomination, agreed that Sanders had a quick start. But when she was asked, she refused.
"I'm sorry, but I'm late," she said as she walked away quickly. A few seconds later, she added, "He's fine."
David Weigel and Scott Clement have contributed to this report.