Las Vegas, Oct. 14 – Sen. Bernie Sanders Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver called his candidate strong for people with disabilities.
“Sen. Sanders has a strong record supporting people with disabilities and helping people with disabilities participate to the maximum extent possible in many streams of society,” Weaver said in an interview with The RespectAbility Report following the Democratic primary debate. “So I think you’ll see he has a strong record. I think this will be a focus of his. His outlook on the world is that all Americans should be able to participate in our society to the maximum extent possible. And he’s committed to that.”
RoseAnn DeMoro, National Nurses United Executive Director, also was spinning on Sanders’ behalf. She said the nurses support the Vermont senator because of his commitment to helping all people, which includes people with disabilities.
“He has, more than any candidate I’ve ever seen, a safety net that actually doesn’t treat anyone as though they are outside of the system. They’re part of the society. So if someone is disabled, it’s not unusual that they would deserve all of the rights and all of the benefits that a working person in the country would have – and healthcare. It’s a different level of commitment. It’s a commitment to community, to society. It’s really honestly about social programs and I think that’s the distinction.”
DeMoro also stressed that Sanders’ program to increase jobs for all people would help people with disabilities.
“It’s a comprehensive program that he is using to address people with disabilities, people who are disenfranchised during the system, and to try to franchise them as fully operated into the society, so they’re not outsiders.”
Sanders has been asked about a plan for helping people with disabilities enter the workforce. His response often gravitates toward ensuring there is no decrease in Social Security Disability Benefits. He repeated this talking point during the primary debate.
“When you have millions of seniors in this country trying to get by — and I don’t know how they do on $11,000, $12,000, $13,000 a year — you don’t cut Social Security, you expand it,” Sanders said. “And the way you expand it is by lifting the cap on taxable incomes so that you do away with the absurdity of a millionaire paying the same amount into the system as somebody making $118,000. You do that, Social Security is solvent until 2061 and you can expand benefits.”
Sanders also talked a great deal about the disproportionate amount of wealth the top one percent has. It is worth noting that many people with disabilities fall into the bottom 90 percent that Sanders repeatedly called for helping.