Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a contender for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, live-tweeted most of the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night until he gave about around 10:30 p.m.
“Thank you all. I’ve had it. I’m going home. Talk to you soon,” he tweeted with more than 30 minutes of debate time left on CNN.
Sanders, with the help of his digital director, offered running commentary for about two-and-a-half hours before that, though.
Sanders, NPR reported, had two of the three most retweeted tweets of the night. He was edged out by just one post from Republican candidate Jeb Bush.
Sanders, according to NPR, offered his personal quips and one-liners out loud as he watched, which were then tweeted by an aide, Kenneth Pennington. Most of the tweets his campaign sent Wednesday night questioned when the GOP candidates would discuss the issues he has focused his own campaign on — income inequality, racial justice and making college affordable.
Sanders even showed his ability to express sarcasm.
“Trump. What a pleasant and humble person. Can’t stop saying kind and generous things about his fellow Republicans,” he said of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
In another tweet, he wrote, “Yup. Bush was a great president. Yes. No doubt. Great president. All Obama’s fault.”
Sanders, with his shirt sleeves rolled up, appears on the most recent cover of Time Magazine, paired with a lengthy feature on the self-described democratic socialist. It features a simple headline of “Bernie.” The subhead is more provocative — “Socialize this, America.”
The story by Sam Frizell recounts Sanders’ younger years as a radical in Vermont and his time running for office as a member of the Liberty Union Party. It goes on to describe the Sanders campaign’s early success in the polls against Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, secretary of state, New York senator and presumed nominee.
Some political observers may recall that another Democratic presidential candidate from Vermont who made waves on the national scene also once graced the cover of Time and other national publications. Former Gov. Howard Dean, who ran for president in the 2004 election, was an early frontrunner before falling out of contention.
Sanders’ struggle to attract African American voters has been well documented by the Vermont Press Bureau and plenty of others. On Wednesday, he sought to make headway by meeting with Black Lives Matter activists to discuss racial justice. The Huffington Post reported that the meeting included DeRay Mckesson, Johnetta Elzie, Samuel Sinyangwe and Brittany Packnett. They are part of Campaign Zero, a group pushing candidates and policymakers at all levels to address racial justice issues.
The meeting, according to tweets from those that attended, went well.
“In the end, @BernieSanders’ candor & willingness to be pushed re: policy and approach were evident during the meeting,” Mckesson tweeted.
In the end, @BernieSanders' candor & willingness to be pushed re: policy and approach were evident during the meeting.
— deray mckesson (@deray) September 16, 2015