Jeffrey Sachs: We Need a Democratic Party Speaking the Truth Like Bernie Sanders & Keith Ellison

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“Bernie Sanders absolutely would have beaten Donald Trump,” says economist Jeffrey Sachs. When asked if the Democratic Party handed the country to Donald Trump, Sachs responds, “I think the Democratic Party handed itself to Wall Street far too much in the last generation. We need a Democratic Party that is speaking the truth like Bernie.” He also says he supports Rep. Keith Ellison to be the new head of the Democratic National Convention.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, as—your message to the Democratic Party? Do you simply think they—

JEFFREY SACHS: Well, my message is: Stand up. Come on. This is your moment to defend the basic propositions and basic values. And if names are put forward that are outrageous—and a lot of outrageous names have been put forward—you’ve got to act to stop that. And I’m expecting that.

AMY GOODMAN: You continually were told, like many Bernie Sanders supporters, to step back, support the unity; that’s what would be able to take on Donald Trump. Do you feel the Democratic Party made a terrible decision squelching dissent? Do you think Bernie Sanders could have beaten Donald Trump?

JEFFREY SACHS: Bernie Sanders absolutely would have beaten Donald Trump. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. And that’s what recent extensive surveys have shown. And that’s—

AMY GOODMAN: Because?

JEFFREY SACHS: He would have beaten Donald Trump because he has the trust of the American people. And he still does, and that’s why his voice is so important.

AMY GOODMAN: So, what do you think the Democratic Party needs to learn, the establishment, from a person, a candidate, like Bernie Sanders in the future? Do you feel the Democratic Party handed the country to Donald Trump?

JEFFREY SACHS: Look, I think the Democratic Party handed itself to Wall Street far too much in the last generation. We need a Democratic Party that is speaking the truth like Bernie. We need Keith Ellison at the DNC. We need the leaders that are ready to take on the real battles.

AMY GOODMAN: Why do you think Keith Ellison is important as head of the DNC, first Muslim congressmember?

JEFFREY SACHS: Because he has been the incredibly brave head of the incredibly brave—the Progressive Caucus, the Democratic Progressive Caucus, and—Congressional Progressive Caucus. Let me at least get that right. And he’s been phenomenal in that role. And the Congressional Progressive Caucus has been phenomenal for the American people. They put out The People’s Budget. They’ve been the only ones telling the truth about fiscal policy. I’m including the mainstream Democrats in that, certainly the Republicans. But the Congressional Progressive Caucus has gotten it right. Why? Because they’re brave, they’re strong, and Keith Ellison has been leading them. He’s a wonderful, wonderful person.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you very much, Jeffrey Sachs, leading economist and the director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, author of many books, including, most recently, The Age of Sustainable Development. His new article for The Boston Globe headlined “Donald Trump and the Rebuilding of America,” we’ll link to it.

This is Democracy Now! When we come back from break, we’re going to look at the Dakota Access pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the pipeline’s suit against the Obama administration demanding that the government get out of the way so they can build DAPL. Stay with us.

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