After the president's immigration address on Tuesday evening, Bernie Sanders' response to Trump's border speech aimed to turn attention toward the "real crises" he says are facing the nation. The Vermont senator's response to POTUS came in the form of a tweet as well as a video address of his own. "There's no crisis at the border," Sanders tweeted. Then he listed all of the "real" emergencies that the nation is facing, instead.
Of the crises listed, Sanders claimed on Twitter that 30 million Americans are currently without health insurance, that the threat of climate change is greater than ever, that half of older Americans have virtually no retirement savings, and that 40 million Americans are currently battling substantial student debt and loans.
In addition to his tweet, Sanders also released a video response to Trump on Tuesday evening, where he said,
President Trump has stated tonight, and over and over again in recent weeks, that this country faces a national emergency. Well, he's right. But it is an emergency and a crisis that he himself has created.
Sanders continued, "As we speak, there are some 800,000 federal employees, people who are our neighbors, friends, and family members, are going without pay ... many of them are wondering how they will pay their mortgages, how they will feed their kids, and how they will go to the doctor."
Trump's address, and Sanders' rebuttal to that address, came on the 18th day of the government shutdown. If nothing has changed by Saturday, Jan. 12, it will officially be the longest government shutdown in American history, breaking the previous record of 21 days in 1995, according to The New York Times.
Sanders said in his video address, "If this government shutdown continues — and Trump has indicated that he is prepared to shut it down for months, if not years — millions of Americans including the disabled children and the elderly may not be able to get the food stamps they need."
Sanders was right about Trump's claim of the length of the shutdown: On Friday, Trump told reporters after a meeting with Democrat leaders that the shutdown could last for "months or even years" if he did not receive the border wall funding he desired, according to The New York Times.
He also threatened to invoke a national emergency in order to bypass Congress for border wall funding, though he did not follow through on that claim during his televised address on Tuesday.
The Vermont senator was not the only Democrat to offer a stern rebuttal to Trump's address. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer also gave a televised address on major networks immediately following POTUS on Tuesday evening.
Pelosi said in part, via NBC News, "The women and children at the border are not a security threat, they are a humanitarian challenge — a challenge that President Trump’s own cruel and counterproductive policies have only deepened."
Schumer added at another point, via NBC News, "The symbol of America should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall."