Senator Bernie Sanders has warned the Democratic Party it needs “new leadership” following Hillary Clinton’s defeat by Donald Trump.
The former presidential candidate, who lost out to Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary, also said it was “possible” that he could have beaten Trump where Clinton failed.
“What I fear is, in the United States, we have fought for hundreds of years, since the inception of this country, fighting against racism, fighting against xenophobia, fighting against sexism and we have made considerable progress,” Sanders told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I am very worried that a president Trump may take us back to where we were before. And we in the progressive community are not going to allow that to happen. We have traveled to far to descend back into racism and sexism and dislike of people because they come for a different country.”
Sanders said he hoped as president, Trump’s “actions will be a lot different than the rhetoric he used during the campaign”.
He said of the Republican: “I think he has a got lot to learn, but I think he is smart.”
Sanders, who ran Clinton close in the primary, said he would have “loved to have had the opportunity” to fight Trump in the general election. Asked if he could have won the White House he said: “Maybe, maybe not. It’s possible we could have. Hindsight is 20/20.”
The Senator, who ran to the left of Clinton, said working class Americans were abandoning the Democrats.
“Over the years the Democratic Party has become a party more concerned about raising money from wealthy individuals than they have been about bringing working people into the party and taking on the billionaires,” he said.
“The Democratic Party has not been strong in standing up up for the needs of working families and I think people are saying, well, ‘Democrats haven’t done it for us let me try this guy Trump’.”
Sanders said he wanted to “find and support new leadership of the Democratic Party”.