While discussing President-elect Donald Trump's selection of Andrew Puzder -- the chief executive officer of the Hardees and Carl's Jr. fast food restaurants -- as the new labor secretary, MSNBC's All In host Chris Hayes asked Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders a curious question.
“How much will reality matter under the presidency of Republican Donald Trump?” the MSNBC anchor asked, and the former Democratic presidential candidate replied that “he's a pathological liar who changes his mind every single day.”
Hayes began the discussion by stating that Puzder is considered an anti-regulation crusader who says raising the minimum wage is bad for business and asked the socialist senator what he feels about the new appointment.
Well, my response is that everybody who voted for Mr. Trump, who believed his campaign promises, who thought that he was really going to stand up to the establishment and fight for working people, please pay attention to the reality of what he's doing rather than his campaign rhetoric.
I think almost everybody in America, Chris, including many Republicans, understand that we need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage: in my view, 15 bucks an hour.
He then noted that Trump selected “somebody who makes his money through fast food by paying people very low wages; many of these people have to get public assistance from taxpayers through Medicaid and food stamps.”
“That's the way this guy does business,” Sanders continued. “This is a guy who thinks automation should replace higher-paid fast food workers.”
“So you got an anti-worker secretary of labor nominee,” the Democratic official noted, “rather than fulfilling Mr. Trump's promises of saying he was going to side with the working people of this country.”
“It's interesting what you just said,” Hayes replied, “because there's a real question before us as we enter this era of how much reality is going to matter.”
The host then stated that if a politician “produces tangible gains, ultimately the truth wins out. And the question to you here is: Are you confident that's still the case? Should it be that wages decline, that outsourcing continue, that the squeeze on the middle class continues under President Trump, that folks will pin it on him and not pin it on you of the Democrats or some other scapegoat?”
Well, you're raising a pretty profound question, and that is: What do you do when you have a president-elect, soon to be president, who when I say this not happily, but I think most people who have observed him agree he's a pathological liar who changes his mind every single day,
And I think the answers, and I'm working very hard on this, and we need to help of the American people obviously is to build a movement of millions of people who actually are following reality.
“And that's the challenge,” the senator ruled. “Real change in this country, I am more and more convinced of it, is not going to come from Capitol Hill. It's going to come from the grassroots of this country.”
Hayes then stated that he and Sanders were slated to host a town hall meeting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Monday because that “fascinating place” has “an amazing labor tradition; it's a place where people made car engines for years.” However, “those jobs have gone away.”
After noting that the city “went for Barack Obama twice” but “Donald Trump won it narrowly” in this year's election, Hayes asked: “What are you looking for, what do you want to see in this event that we'll do together on Monday?”
“Well, first of all, I want the truth,” Sanders replied. “I really want to hear why people voted the way they voted. I want to hear why people voted for Donald Trump, what their expectations were, why they did not vote for Secretary Clinton.”
“Second of all,” he continued, “I want to bounce off of people their views about what a progressive agenda is.”
“Do they support raising the minimum wage to a living wage?” the socialist asked. “Do they support pay equity for women? Do they support a real new trade policy which will demand that corporate America invests in this country?”
“So I think what we want to do,” he stated, is learn “what kind of agenda makes sense to working people? What was the attractiveness of Donald Trump?”
As NewsBusters previously reported, several liberals have declared that Puzder's nomination is part of “a war on labor” by the head of a company known for its “racy ads” promoting hamburgers and other fast food products.
It's apparently time to remind the Democrats that “elections have consequences,” and when they won the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives eight years ago, Republicans accepted the outcome instead of rioting in the streets.