FAIRFIELD, IOWA - Susan Sarandon’s not stumping along gender lines. The actress and activist joined Sen. Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail in Iowa this week, implored voters to caucus for the Vermont lawmaker rather than Hillary Clinton on Feb. 1.
Sarandon told Sanders supporters in Fairfield, Iowa, on Jan. 28 that she’s been criticized for favoring the male senator over a woman candidate. But “it’s more important” that she back someone whose record aligns with her values, she said. Sarandon praised Sanders’ integrity and consistency throughout his political career
“It is a miracle that we have managed to get a candidate at this point who has not been bought,” Sarandon said. She also cited his opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a key reason she’s for Team Bernie.
“He stood courageously against going into Iraq,” which was “the most important foreign policy decision that has been made in my lifetime.”
The Iraq War marked a turning point in Sarandon’s politics, she recalled. She decided then that she would not back candidates who supported the invasion and who would “be sending us off time and time again to solve problems in an unimaginative and violent way.”
Earlier this week, Sarandon said in a CNN interview that it’s “patronizing” to assume women will “follow our genitalia” and support Hillary Clinton simply because we’re women. In the same interview, Sarandon derided Clinton’s support for the Iraq War. Clinton “failed me and I feel that that wasn’t just a mistake — it was a disaster,” Sarandon said. This is the second time she’s stumped for someone other than Clinton, as she campaigned for President Barack Obama in 2008.
When Sarandon turned the mic over to Sanders, he also touted his consistent record on the war, saying he voted his conscience even when he was in the minority. Sanders pointed to his opposition to NAFTA and other trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as evidence of his commitment to American workers. He also mentioned the fact that he voted against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Whereas some politicians had to reverse course and apologize for their positions, he’s long been in favor of gay marriage and against legislation that endangers the working class, he said.
“I don’t have to apologize, because I voted against all that,” Sanders said.
The crowd cheered Sanders as he railed against crushing student loan debt and the high cost of college tuition and advocated for a tax on Wall Street speculation. He also called the current economic disparities in the U.S. “not sustainable” and “not moral.”
Sarandon told the Fairfield crowd that she’ll head back to New York “praying” that Iowans caucus for Sanders on Monday.
Casey Hynes is an independent journalist and brand content writer. She’s been published by The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, Vogue India, South China Morning Post, Roll Call, and a number of other publications. Casey writes on a range of topics, including tech, personal finance, digital marketing, and human rights. She is a 2008 graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Her work appears at caseyhynes.com.