How Sanders Won The GOP Debate & More From The Week In Bernie

Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo.
This week, the race to 2016 was dominated by CNN's Republican debate, in which 11 candidates argued about defunding Planned Parenthood and how tough they'd be on Iran. And, they tried their best to insult Donald Trump while standing in front of Ronald Reagan's airplane. It was the biggest live broadcast in CNN's history, with 23 million people tuning in.

And yet, in other corners of America, a different set of folks was feeling The Bern. The campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders rolled on — picking up support, retweets, money, and magazine covers. Here's what you missed.

He trolled the hell out of the GOP debate.
Senator Sanders, of course, wasn't invited to join the big political event of the week, CNN's record-breaking Republican debate. But, he chimed in the best way he knew how — by tweeting right along with it.

He was sacrastic, funny, and he basically won — NPR reports Bernie had two of the top three candidate tweets of the night. Amid all the joking, he also brought up some pretty good points.

He spoke at a super-conservative college.
Instead of hitting up places on the speaking circuit where he knew he’d be popular, Sanders headed to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchberg, VA — which might be the most conservative place on this earth. Sanders acknowledged tht he has deep differences with most of the listeners, but sought to find common ground in a Christian teaching to care for the poor. He even got some applause.

He made his debut as a TIME magazine cover model.
A beaming Sanders covers the latest issue of TIME, with the caption "Socialize this, America." Cover story author Sam Frizell lays out just how well Bernie's doing, writing: "Polls now indicate that if the nominating contests were held tomorrow, Sanders would edge out Clinton in Iowa and beat her in New Hampshire by 10 points. Nationally, he has cut Clinton’s lead from an impregnable 46 points to a crumbling 21 points in just two months."

He raised over a million dollars.
An attack on the Senator by a Clinton Super PAC had the unintended consequence of rallying support for Sanders. The Sanders campaign sent out a couple fundraising emails, and in less than 48 hours, Bernie had made a million bucks — at the record-breaking rate of nearly 180 contributions per minute.

He unveiled a plan to abolish private prisons.

Proof that Sanders is still taking his day job seriously: This week, he introduced a bill called the Justice Is Not for Sale Act, which would move to ban government contracts with private prisons. It's just the sort of progressive policy-making — advocating for one of the most underserved communities (prison inmates) — that made him so beloved to begin with.

He laid down the law with a FOX News reporter.
Senator Sanders does not like it when you try to squeeze in an unscheduled interview. When a FOX reporter ran up to him in the hall of the Senate and started asking questions, Sanders said flatly that he “doesn’t do ambush interviews” and then proceeded to stonewall the persistent reporter, walking along in silence for question after question after question.

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