Mar 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bernie Sanders on swastika unfurled at rally: "It is unspeakable"

Bernie Sanders said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that it is "disgusting" and "unspeakable" that a man unfurled a Nazi swastika flag during his rally in Phoenix last week.

Why it matters: Sanders, who lost family members in the Holocaust, could become the first Jewish presidential nominee of a major American political party.

  • The man, identified by the Anti-Defamation League as white supremacist Robert Sterkeson, had the flag snatched out of his hands and was escorted from the rally.
  • Sterkeson is a self-described "stunt activist" known for harassing Jewish and Muslim organizations and events and posting about it online, per the ADL.

What he's saying:

"We have been disrupted by various groups. Some Trump people have gotten excited and we've gotten rid of them. But the idea that there was a swastika — a symbol of everything that this country stands against. We lost 400,000 people fighting that symbol, fighting Nazism. Six million Jews were killed. Other people were killed. ... Obviously it is unspeakable. It is disgusting. I've got to tell you, I never expected in my life, as an American, to see a swastika at a major political rally. It's horrible."
— Bernie Sanders

Go deeper: Bernie's historic Jewish fight

Go deeper

Sanders insists Democrats will unite around eventual nominee

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday dismissed claims from some Democrats that it would be difficult to unite the party around him, insisting on ABC's "This Week" that the "threat" that President Trump poses will rally Democratic voters and leaders to support the eventual nominee.

What he's saying: "At the end of the day, I have known Joe Biden for a very long time. He is a decent guy. I have no doubt that if I win, Joe will be there. If Joe ends up winning, I will be there. We are going to come together and President Obama in my view — he has said this — will play a leading role in helping whoever the Democratic nominee is."

Biden reborn with a massive Super Tuesday comeback

Biden speaks in Los Angeles Tuesday night. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Super Tuesday made Joe Biden the 77-year-old Comeback Kid, clipping Bernie Sanders' wings and transforming the Democratic primary into a two-man race.

Why it matters: Biden's campaign was broke and all but dead until he won South Carolina on Saturday. The revival that unfolded across 14 states last night was built not only on strong support from African Americans but also a consolidation of white, establishment Democrats around the former vice president.

Sanders crowds see a Trump of their own

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paras Griffin/WireImage

The Bernie Sanders diehards packing his rallies would love to live in a world with Medicare for All, free college and higher taxes on the rich — but they mostly know that's a distant dream. Instead, they're fueled by the movement he's promising to build.

Why it matters: Sanders, on a delegate roll heading into today's 14-state Super Tuesday voting, is looking more and more like a liberal incarnation of Donald Trump circa 2016 — a cultural force who transcends party or policies.