WaPo | At a campaign rally here in one of the most liberal towns in America, Donald Trump offered praise for an unusual party: avowed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.
“Now, I’m no fan of Bernie Sanders, but he is 100 percent right,” Trump told a crowd here this weekend. “He is 100 percent right: Hillary Clinton is totally controlled by the people that put up her money. She’s totally controlled by Wall Street.”
That’s not the only area where the presumptive Republican nominee sounds like Sanders, who is challenging Clinton for the Democratic nomination. On a series of issues, including free trade and foreign military intervention, Trump is effectively running to the left not only of his own party but also of Clinton.
For weeks, Trump has openly praised Sanders, crediting the senator from Vermont for raising questions about the former secretary of state’s judgment on campaign finance, trade and foreign policy. He has also pointed to Sanders’s questioning of Clinton’s qualifications as a sign that the topic is fair game.
“NAFTA has been one of the great economic disasters. Who signed it? Clinton. Clinton,” Trump said Saturday at a rally in Lynden, Wash. He was referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was actually signed by George H.W. Bush but was implemented through legislation signed by Bill Clinton.
“It has destroyed, I’ll tell you what, it’s destroyed our country as we know it,” Trump said.
The line of attack poses an unusual and vexing challenge for the Democratic front-runner, who has spent months embracing increasingly liberal positions in her primary fight with Sanders. After jockeying to win over voters on the left, the Clinton campaign is now tasked with pinpointing the best way to attack Trump — an ideological moving target who sometimes switches positions within the space of a day — while also reaching out to moderates and disaffected conservatives.