When Donald Trump hosted "Saturday Night Live" this weekend, he was greeted by protesters who were angry that NBC had chosen to have him on its famous show. Then the Republican candidate was interrupted by comedian Larry David calling him a “racist” during his opening monologue -- a stunt Latino activist group DeportRacism.com had encouraged by promising to pay $5,000 to anyone who pulled it off. While Trump's "SNL" performance brought in huge ratings, one day after the show, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders (who is played by David on "SNL") called Trump a racist during a campaign event in Las Vegas.
The Vermont senator shared his candid thoughts about Trump in front of a crowd of more than 2,800 people, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
“That is old-fashioned racism,” Sanders said. “We will not tolerate it. It is not an American value to talk about rounding up millions of people and simply say that we are going to throw them out of the country. That is xenophobia.”
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) November 8, 2015
Sanders also focused his remarks Sunday on immigration and issues that appeal to Latino voters, the Las Vegas Sun reported. A self-identified Democratic socialist, Sanders’ campaign has focused on strengthening the middle class and minimizing the influence of the “billionaire class” as he often refers to the nation’s 1 percent.
While he has more recently emphasized his views on racism and criminal justice reform, he knows that he needs to improve his standing among voters of color. He has done well in largely white areas of the country but has continued to struggle with low voter recognition among black and Latino voters.
On Sunday, he talked about his plans to grant amnesty to undocumented immigrants, as well as his ideas to end childhood poverty, protect organized labor and make college tuition free.
“We have 11 million undocumented people in the country,” Sanders said. “Ninety-nine percent came here to better their lives and flee poverty and violence. These undocumented workers play an extraordinary important role in our economy. Without these workers it is likely our entire agriculture system would collapse.”
During the Democratic candidates' forum in South Carolina Friday, Sanders talked to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow about his record on civil rights issues and assured her that he could relate to and work for minority voters in 2016. With the next Democratic presidential debate this coming weekend, Sanders will have another chance to convince voters on a mass scale that he has the broad appeal necessary to take on front-runner Hillary Clinton.