Sen. Bernard Sanders on Tuesday morning made a direct appeal to evangelical voters in South Carolina, repeating his calls for universal health care and free college tuition while also arguing that “religious people” have a moral obligation to fight climate change.
Speaking at a prayer breakfast in Columbia — an event that included many African-American faith leaders in the state — Mr. Sanders cast global warming as a top threat facing the world today and stressed that people of faith must do something about it.
“As religious people, we have got to receive and understand that we do not have the right to destroy God’s earth,” he said. “I have talked to scientists all over the country, all over the world. And what they say is if we do not get our act together and do it in a very short period of time, by the end of this century, this planet will be 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer.”
Mr. Sanders’ pitch comes less than two weeks before the crucial Feb. 27 Democratic presidential primary. The Vermont senator trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by a significant margin in the state and has struggled to win black voters.
Mr. Sanders said his policy prescriptions, including a $1 trillion plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and put 13 million Americans to work, would boost low-income communities.
“When we create those jobs, we’re going to make sure those jobs go to the communities that need them the most,” he said.