Bernie Sanders slams Republican Party as being "bankrupt intellectually"

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said the Democratic Party needs to focus on "exciting people" and getting young people to the polls ahead of the 2018 midterm elections — and added that the Republican Party continues its campaign tactics of "demonizing" Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. 

While many Democrats have called for Pelosi's ouster, Sanders told "CBS This Morning" that the Republican Party is "bankrupt intellectually" and is instead "demonizing" Pelosi for being a woman. 

"I think Nancy has done a good job... I think it's also the fact that she's a woman. I think they have demonized her, the Republican Party is bankrupt intellectually, they are not going to campaign on their views of giving tax breaks to billionaires and cutting Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, so they have to come up with some demon, I guess their demon right now is Nancy Pelosi," said Sanders. 

"At the end of the day we are 50 states in this country and what gratifies me is... I am seeing an energy level that I have not seen before." 

Sanders suggested ahead of the midterm elections, the Democratic Party needs to now "excite people, get young people, working people to the polls."

Sanders cited a wave of progressive women, minority and first time candidates as inspiring a "lot of energy" for 2018. He said that's "good for America" and the Democratic Party. Case in point: Vermont's own Christine Hallquist, who made history Tuesday night with her win, paving the way to become the nation's first transgender candidate for governor from a major political party. 

He said her win shows that "we look at ideas that people have and not their sexual orientation, and I hope that concept is spreading all over the country and I think ... it's a good thing."

Hallquist has a progressive agenda. "Let's stop making profits on people sick and dying," she said Monday on CBSN. "Let's approve Medicare for All. Let's get people to a living wage. There's been a systematic attack on the working class for over 30 years now. And so we've got to change this."

Sanders won his own primary Tuesday night in Vermont, but will be running as an Independent for reelection in November. 

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital