On Thursday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) gave a foreign policy speech to the students at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.
At Westminster, the progressive senator spent an hour discussing his foreign policy views, but mostly focused on where he thinks President Trump is going wrong. It’s speculated that the 76-year-old Vermont senator still has his eyes set on the Oval Office.
And his campaign-style speech alluded that the senator is starting to rally his support early.
Sanders began his speech by criticizing President Trump and Republicans for their budget priorities, accusing Trump of turning his back on uninsured Americans and instead increasing defense spending.
“Meanwhile, at the exact same time as the President and many of my Republican colleagues want to substantially increase military spending, they want to throw 32 million Americans off of the health insurance they currently have because, supposedly, they are worried about the budget deficit,” Sanders said.
In his foreign policy address, Sanders continued to come back to his traditional talking points.
”While greatly increasing military spending they also want to cut education, environmental protection and the needs of children and seniors,” Sanders said.
Sanders kept addressing inequality in America, and ways that it relates abroad. For example, Sanders stated that to have justice abroad America must practice justice at home and address racial injustices.
“That means continuing the struggle to end racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia here in the United States and making it clear that when people in America march on our streets as neo-nazis or white supremacists, we have no ambiguity in condemning everything they stand for,” Sanders said.
In his hour-long address, Sanders attacked the President for not mentioning the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential elections in his speech to the United Nations on Wednesday.
“Well, I will. Today I say to Mr. Putin: we will not allow you to undermine American democracy or democracies around the world,”
Among other criticism, Sanders challenged the president’s stance on backing out of the Paris climate agreement and cautioned him from withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear deal.
The independent senator closed his speech, with a campaign-style call to action for the audience. “My friends, let us go forward and build that tomorrow.”
Foreign policy has never been Sanders bread and butter. The former 2016 presidential candidate gave little attention to foreign policy on the campaign trail, and even today on Sanders Senate office page, foreign policy and military defense are not top 5 on his list of key issues. His speech on the road in Missouri intensifies the looming speculation that he is gearing up for another presidential campaign.