- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 7, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders on Sunday addressed comments from rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign that he might win New Hampshire just because he’s from neighboring Vermont, saying it is insulting.

“In a sense, it is,” Mr. Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Vermont and New Hampshire are separated by a river. We are close states. But you know what? Secretary Clinton won this state in 2008. Her husband ran several campaigns in this state. When we began this campaign here in New Hampshire, we were 30 points down in the polls and she was much better known in this state than I was.”

“So simple to say, you know, if we win this thing, it’s because Bernie lives in Vermont, yes, that’s just not accurate,” he said.

The Vermont senator also dismissed notions that he is doing well in Iowa and New Hampshire only because they are majority white states and that the many progressives friendly to him in those two states are white.

“We started this entire campaign way back when, nine months ago, at 3 percent, 4 percent in the polls,” he said. “We have come a very, very long way.”

He called himself an “underdog” in South Carolina, the next primary state with a large African-American population, but said his campaign has some “real momentum.”

“I think the message that we have and the agenda that we have in terms of economics and criminal justice will resound very significantly in the African-American community and the Latino community,” he said.

He touted support from Ben Jealous, former leader of the NAACP, as a sign that his campaign is gaining traction among African-Americans.

“I think, when we get to South Carolina, when we get to Nevada, you are going to see more and more response from the African-American community, because we’re talking about the issues relevant to them,” he said. “Raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, dealing with the fact that we have more people in jail than any other country, primarily Latino and African-American.”

“I think we have the program that, when people hear it, they will say, yes, you know what? Bernie is making sense,” he said.

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