If the progressive left has a single prominent voice in Congress right now, its Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The longtime liberal firebrand exploded into the public consciousness as a 2016 presidential candidate, inspiring huge crowds and injecting a strong progressive agenda into the political mainstream. And he urged the Democrats to take their fair share of credit on Friday, after the collapse of the Republican Obamacare replacement bill ― Sanders responded to the AHCA failure on CNN, telling Anderson Cooper that the controversial bill was "exactly what the American people did not want."
Specifically, Sanders noted the abysmal polling numbers for the AHCA. Just days prior to its abandonment, an unthinkably low 17 percent of voters supported the bill, according to a Quinnipiac poll. In short, it was a deeply unpopular piece of legislation, in addition to having insufficient appeal to the various factions of the GOP House membership.
Here's how Sanders put it to Cooper, who asked how he felt to hear Trump blaming the Democrats for the bill's failure, citing the fact that they stood completely unified in opposition. Suffice to say Sanders didn't take that as an insult ― to the contrary, that kind of unified opposition was exactly what he wanted to see.
Anderson followed up, asking who was responsible for the bill not getting passed (in fact, not even coming to the floor for a vote). Sanders dismissed the line of questioning, however, referring to it as "just a media game."
Sanders, for his part, is following through on the gameplan he proposed on Cooper's show ― he reportedly told an assembled crowd at a Hardwick, Vermont, town hall Saturday that he plans to introduce a Medicare-for-all bill in the U.S. Senate in the near future.