FOX 17 sits down with Democratic contender Bernie Sanders

Posted at 1:27 PM, Mar 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-05 13:27:34-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich -- FOX 17 sat down with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders just ahead of Michigan's primary on March 8.

Overall, Sanders said he is disappointed with the country in general, saying that America - despite being the wealthiest country in the world - is rife with income inequality. He returned to his chief talking point that most wealth floats to the top one percent richest people. Part of his plan for Michigan, he says, is to raise taxes and invest in struggling cities such as Detroit and Flint.

Sanders placed blame primarily in international trade policies such as NAFTA and CAFTA, which he calls disastrous for Michigan workers because corporations move their production to other countries like China and Mexico.

"We're going to end disastrous trade agreements," Sanders said. "We're going to demand that corporate America invest in this country, not in China."

He also called Michigan's minimum wage, currently $8.50 an hour, a "starvation wage" and said that he'll work to raise the minimum to $15 over the next couple years.

On the Flint water crisis, the senator says he's shocked that children were poisoned by lead-contaminated water. He drew comparisons to third world countries. He calls the situation a "disgrace beyond disgraces" and has called for the resignation of Gov. Rick Snyder.

A recent poll commissioned by FOX 2 in Detroit shows Hillary Clinton as the clear front-runner, leading Sen. Sanders by 28 points. However, Sanders says he's still confident he will take Michigan and that his campaign has often been behind in other states' primaries but eventually closes the gap.

"I think the momentum is with us and that people understand what our message is."