Syria's Bashar al-Assad is leading a "horrific regime," Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Sunday. "Assad has got to go; ISIS has got to be defeated," but that should happen as we "work with allies in the region" because the U.S. needs to start "paying attention to the needs back home," Sanders said.
"I do not want to see the United States get sucked into perpetual warfare in the Middle East, see our men and women get killed, trillions of dollars being spent," Sen. Sanders told CNN's "State of the Union."
"We've been in Afghanistan now for over 15 years. We've been in Iraq for a very long time. I don't want to see us dragged into another war in Syria when kids in this country cannot afford to go to college, when our infrastructure is collapsing, when 28 million Americans have no health insurance.
"We have got to start paying attention to the needs back home."
Sanders pointed to the past U.S. failures and "mistakes" in Iraq, and he said the U.S., as with regard to North Korea, "needs a strategy" and should "not act unilaterally."
"In this [Syria] case we have got to demand that Russia and Iran stop their efforts in supporting this horrific dictator," Sanders told host Jake Tapper, suggesting President Donald Trump get back to his "America First" inaugural promise and leave the Middle East troubles to "allies in the region."
Later in his Sunday CNN appearance, Sanders told Tapper about the DNC's upcoming red state tour through middle America to expand the Democratic party. In some of these states Sanders beat out eventual Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton.
"So many of our people are giving up on the political process," Sanders told Tapper. "It is very frightening. In the last presidential election, when Trump won, we had the lowest voter turnout in 20 years, and in the previous two years before that, in the midterm election, we had the lowest voter turnout in 70 years. . . ."
"We're going to be fighting to see that the Democratic Party becomes a 50-state party. You can't just be a West Coast party and an East Coast party."
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