Bernie Sanders doubled-down Friday on his opposition to recently enacted anti-LGBT laws in North Carolina and Mississippi by saying his administration would seek to overturn them.
The Democratic presidential candidate made the remarks during an appearance on “The View” when co-host Raven-Symoné asked what he would say to LGBT people in the aftermath of passage of those laws.
“Not only what I would say, as president of the United States, I would do everything I can to overturn these outrageous decisions by Mississippi and North Carolina, etc.,” Sanders said. “We have gone too far as a nation. God knows, we have seen so much discrimination in our history, right? Against the African-American community, against Latinos, against the Irish, the Italians, the Jews.”
Invoking the words of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., Sanders said, “You judge people on the character, not on the color of their skin, and I would add, too, not on their gender or their sexual orientation.”
Although Sanders mentioned “sexual orientation,” he didn’t articulate “gender identity” even though the laws in North Carolina and Mississippi specifically target transgender people in addition to undermining rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
Sanders also talked LGBT rights — in particular his vote against the 1996 anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act — when asked about controversial remarks he made earlier this week in which he said Clinton isn’t qualified to be president because of special interest money donated to her Super PAC.
Insisting those remarks were in response to comments she made about him “not being qualified,” Sanders said Clinton has made questionable judgements on things like her 2002 vote for the Iraq vote and her initial support for DOMA.
“She regrets a lot of things, and I don’t mean to be sarcastic,” Sanders said. “We all mistakes, but I regret less than she does because I had the courage to vote the right way even when it was not necessarily popular.”
Going into further detail on DOMA, Sanders drew attention to Clinton’s support for law through her 2000 U.S. Senate campaign and desire to repeal only Section 3 of the law during her 2008 presidential campaign. In 2013, Clinton came out for full marriage equality.
“Secretary Clinton supported DOMA, her husband supported DOMA, signed the bill as a matter of fact,” Sanders said. “I stood out against that. So the point is, sometimes you got to stand up even when it’s not necessarily popular.”
It should be noted Clinton never said Sanders isn’t qualified for the presidency, but in an interview on “Morning Joe” this week said his widely panned interview with the New York Daily News raises questions about his preparedness.
Watch a clip of Sanders’ interview on “The View” here. (Remarks on DOMA start at 4:30)