Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign slogan is a direct rebuke of Trump’s 2016 message of ‘I alone can fix’ America

John Haltiwanger/INSIDERSen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally for his 2020 campaign in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on March 8, 2019.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign slogan is “Not me. Us.” and represents a direct rebuke of President Donald Trump’s message in 2016 that he “alone” can “fix” the US.
  • At a campaign rally in Iowa on Thursday night, Sanders told a cheering crowd that no one person can solve the country’s problems “alone.”
  • “The only way we transform America is when millions of people together stand up and fight back,” Sanders said during a speech that included multiple, explicit jabs at the president.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign slogan is attempting to draw a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump by reworking the president’s messaging from 2016.

As Sanders has hit the campaign trail over the past week, a consistent theme has emerged at his rallies as the senator’s supporters have chanted his name – Sanders interrupts the crowd and says his campaign is not about “Bernie” but “you” and “us.”

The Vermont senator used the line at his kick off rally in Brooklyn, New York, last Saturday and repeated the line again in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Thursday night during his first campaign stop in the Midwestern state.


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“Let me say what I’ve said from the beginning,” Sanders told the crowd in Iowa as people chanted his name. “It ain’t Bernie, it’s you. It’s not me. It is us.”

This is linked to Sanders’ campaign slogan for 2020: “Not me. Us.”

Elaborating on what he means by this at his first Iowa rally, Sanders on Thursday said that “no one person” can take on the most powerful, wealthy people in the country “alone.”

“The only way we transform America is when millions of people together stand up and fight back,” Sanders added.

Comparatively, back in July 2016 as Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president in Cleveland, Ohio, he declared, “I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”

While other 2020 Democratic candidates have also publicly criticised the president, the septuagenarian from Vermont has made denouncing Trump a central aspect of his campaign rhetoric as he continues to push for the progressive platform that typified his 2016 run.

The day after Sanders announced he’s running for president again last month, he tweeted, “We have a president who is a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and a fraud. We are going to bring people together and not only defeat Trump but transform the economic and political life of this country.”

Similarly, at the onset of his speech in Council Bluffs in Iowa on Thursday, Sanders said, “Thank you for being part of a campaign which is not only going to win the Democratic nomination, which is not only going to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history, but with your help is going to transform this country and, finally, create an economy and government which works for all Americans, and not just the one per cent.”


Read more:
Read Bernie Sanders’ full speech from his first Iowa 2020 campaign rally

Sanders, with his populist rhetoric, was at times compared to Trump along the campaign trail back in 2016. In 2020, the Vermont senator is declaring loud and clear that he’s nothing like the president as Sanders presents a vision for America he contends is “exactly the opposite” of Trump’s.

“Donald Trump wants to divide us up by the colour of our skin, our country of origin, our gender, our religion and our sexual orientation,” Sanders said to a roaring Iowa crowd on Thursday. “We are going to bring our people together.”

“If we stand together, if we don’t allow Trump and his friends to divide us up…This country has an extraordinary future,” the senator later added. “Let’s make it happen.”

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