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Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., spoke about the future of the Democratic party at a CNN town hall in Jack Morton Auditorium Monday. Lisa Blitstein | Hatchet Photographer

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., spoke about the future of the Democratic party at a CNN town hall in Jack Morton Auditorium Monday. Lisa Blitstein | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by reporter Joshua Porter.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participated in a CNN town hall with reporter Chris Cuomo at the Jack Morton Auditorium Monday night. The town hall, which was broadcast live, focused on congressional priorities in light of an impending Donald Trump presidency.

Sanders offered broad strategies for the Democratic Party during the new administration and addressed audience members’ concerns for the future.

Here are the big takeaways:

Compromising with Trump

Sanders urged fellow Democrats against unilateral obstruction during the Trump administration, while still acknowledging characteristics of Trump’s campaign which Democrats should guard against.

“I will tell you this: He ran a campaign whose cornerstone was bigotry,” he said. “It was based on sexism, on racism, on xenophobia, and on that issue, I will not compromise.”

After criticizing Republicans for blocking President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme court, Sanders suggested some Democrats may use a similar strategy toward the GOP. Still, he urged bipartisan cooperation when possible.

“Where Trump has ideas that make sense that we can work with him on, I think we should,” he said.

The future of Obamacare

Sanders, who ran his 2016 presidential campaign on free education and free healthcare, noted that the U.S. is one of the only major countries not guarantee health care as a right. Saying that it was time the U.S. government provide free health care, Sanders said that initial efforts like the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, would need to be tweaked over time in order to be successful.

Jessica Karabian, an audience member who relies on Obamacare to cover treatments for breast cancer, asked Sanders how he will make sure that the life-saving components of the Affordable Care Act remain.

“We are going to do everything we can to improve the Affordable Care Act. It has problems, but we damn well are not going to repeal it and not have anything there at all,” Sanders said.

The influence of trade

Sanders said that trade policy is one area of potential compromise between progressives and the Trump administration. Both Sanders and Trump have criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement and said they opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the 2016 campaign.

Ed Mash, a former Ohio corrections officer, asked Sanders how he will work with Trump to promote growth in areas like Ohio. Sanders pointed to international trade agreements.

“The issue is that for the last 30 years, under Democratic and Republican administrations, we have had trade policies like NAFTA and CAFTA and permanent relationships with China,” Sanders said.

Sanders voted against NAFTA and CAFTA in the past, saying that such agreements benefit multinational corporations rather than the American working class by outsourcing jobs to nations with low or nonexistent labor regulations and cheap manufacturing costs. Sanders said he believes in fair trade, not unfettered free trade.

“I believe we need a new trade policy. I believe we tell corporate America they’ve got to control their greed,” Sanders said. “Mr. Trump is prepared to sit down and work on a new trade policy which is based on fairness, not just on corporate greed, yes, I will be happy to work with him.”

Plans for immigration reform

Sanders highlighted his hopes for immigration reform that would give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship and access to health care under the Affordable Care Act.

Jenny Gutierrez, a high school teacher from Maryland, and Osama Alsaleh, a GW student, asked Sanders about the future of immigrants and their children under the upcoming Trump administration and Republican-controlled Congress.

In response, Sanders noted Democrats’ commitment to protecting immigrants as well as undocumented immigrants during the next administration.

“To see a man elected president who campaigned on dividing us up, turning us against each other. Your beautiful students should not be afraid. Young Muslim kids should not be afraid to walk the streets,” he said. “That is not what this country is about.”

Sanders added that diversity is what makes the country thrive.

“We must judge people on who they are, not where their grandfather came from or their religion,” Sanders said. “This is a principle we have to fight for.”

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. will be on campus next month to talk about his new book, “Our Revolution,” the University announced Monday.

Sanders will discuss his memoir which will feature his experience running for president this year and detail how he will continue to fight for a more equitable country, according to the release. He will be in Lisner Auditorium at 7 p.m. Nov. 16, the day after his book is scheduled to be released.

Students can purchase tickets to the event for $10 at the Lisner box office, which does not include a copy of Sanders’ book. Students will be able to also buy copies of his book at the event, and a limited number of ticket holders will receive a signed copy of the book from Sanders, according to the release.

The day before Sanders’s appearance, the University will also host Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery to discuss his book, “They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement,” on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Jack Morton Auditorium.

As one of the most prominent reporters covering the Black Lives Matter movement, Lowery recounts his coverage of fatal police shootings of black males in the book. He was a member of The Post team that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their work on police shootings.

Students can buy tickets for the conversation with Lowery for $5 online.

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The GW Hospital

Hatchet File Photo.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., will undergo an elective outpatient hernia repair procedure at GW Hospital Monday, the senator’s office said.

Sanders’ office released a one paragraph statement this afternoon, The Associated Press reported. The presidential candidate will return to his office on Capitol Hill tomorrow.

Other politicians have received treatment at GW Hospital in the past. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid had eye surgery at the hospital in January, and former Vice President Dick Cheney was treated by doctors there for heart problems several times, including a mild heart attack in 2010.

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For one GW student, humor trumps politics.

Once Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president more than a week ago, senior Conor McGrath decided to poke fun at the real estate mogul with a Facebook page in mock support.

He said he hopes GW Students for Donald Trump will get more likes on Facebook than a similar page in support of presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Since launching on May 16, McGrath’s page has more than 150 likes.

“When you talk about Donald Trump, the guy is a joke,” McGrath said in an interview this week. “I think it’s a way to have fun. It’s the summer, you see what’s up and see how much traction you can get.”

Since May, students have started at least two other groups to support presidential candidates, like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Florida governor Jeb Bush.

McGrath hasn’t registered GW Students for Donald Trump as a student organization, but said he may still host happy hours to mock happy hours held as fundraisers for candidates.

“If Jeb Bush can have one, why can’t we?” he said.

McGrath added that he is not in charge of a Twitter account in support of Trump, “Donald Trump for GW.” The creator of that account gave an interview over Twitter on Thursday.

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Another GW student group formed this week to support the ever growing field of presidential candidates.

Colonials for Jeb, a page in support of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for president on Monday, launched Sunday night. The page currently has more than 50 likes.

William Hanna, a senior and creator of the Facebook page, said while the group is not affiliated with Bush’s official campaign, he hopes events the group is planning to hold, like phone banking, happy hour fundraisers and planning events, will help students learn more about Bush’s positions on issues.

“We’re here to talk to all students that are interested in our message,” Hanna said. “We’re here as a sounding board, he’s an option, this is why we feel he’s the best candidate.”

He said the group is planning to register as a student organization at the beginning of the school year and is open to working with other student organizations, including non-political ones, as the campaign season heats up.

In May, a group of GW students launched a group in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is running for president as a Democrat. Earlier in the year, students launched a similar group for Hillary Clinton, who is also running for president as a Democrat.

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Updated: May 27, 2015 at 5:37 p.m.

Not all GW students are #ReadyForHillary.

A group of GW students have launched “GW for Bernie” on Facebook and Twitter in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is running for president as a Democrat. Sanders, who officially announced his presidential campaign on Tuesday, entered the race against Hillary Clinton, who had garnered support from hundreds of GW students before announcing her run last month.

The Facebook page currently has more than 70 likes, while the Twitter account of the same name has 13 followers.

“GW students are organizing for a champion against moneyed interests holding our politics hostage,” according to the Facebook page’s description.

Frank Fritz, a rising junior and one of the co-founders of the group, said the organization’s main focus is to increase awareness of Sanders as a candidate. He said because GW is the most politically active campus in the country, the group is hoping to tap into the political connections of students.

Fritz said the group hopes to hold phone banks and other programming, but because Sanders launched his campaign Tuesday, GW for Bernie is still in the early stages. He said Sanders will “bring a little spice to the Democratic primary.”

“He’s really just trying to contribute to the debate because he’s trying to bring a more genuine aspect to our politics,” Fritz said.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Frank Fritz is a rising sophomore. He is a rising junior. We regret this error.

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