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Bernie Sanders Slams GOP Objections to Recounts: 'Nobody Cares'

Instead, Sanders asserted the focus should be on holding Trump to his campaign promises on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.
Image: Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, at the Miami Book Fair on Saturday.Larry Marano / REX/Shutterstock

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday criticized Republican objections to the Wisconsin recount effort, arguing that the move is within legal rights and fairly common after elections.

"We have recounts, probably almost every election there's a recount," Sanders, I-Vt., said on CNN. "No one expects there to be profound change but there's nothing wrong with going through the process."

Wisconsin election officials accepted Green Party candidate Jill Stein's petition for a statewide recount, which is slated to begin late next week. The recount plan has drawn scorn from President-elect Donald Trump and his surrogates.

Related: Election Recount to Begin in Wisconsin Following Green Party Petition, Officials Say

When asked about senior adviser Kellyanne Conway's tweets that decried Hillary Clinton supporters for challenging the results after pressuring Trump to do the same during the general election, Sanders replied that "nobody cares."

Instead, the former presidential contender asserted, the focus should be on holding Trump to his campaign promises on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

"The Green Party has the legal right," Sanders said. "The Republicans have requested, I think the governor of North Carolina right now is thinking about doing a recount (in his race). That's a legal right. They do it. I don't think that Hillary Clinton, who got two million more votes than Mr. Trump in the popular election, thinks that it's going to transform the election. But do people have the legal right to do it? Yeah, we do."

Related: Cuba After Castro: How Much Change, and How Quickly?

Remarking on the death of Fidel Castro, Sanders maintained on ABC's "This Week" Sunday morning that he had no praise for the dictator and that "the Cuban economy is a disaster."

However, the self-proclaimed democratic socialist asserted that it was important for the United States to maintain relations with the Communist country, even if it meant issuing condolences to the Castro family.

"The goal right now is to see if we can improve our relationship with the people of Cuba to do what we can to improve their economy and to make sure that the younger generation does better than the older generation," Sanders said on CNN.

Related: Three Big Questions About the Race for Democratic Party Chairman

On the subject of rebuilding the Democratic Party, Sanders reiterated that he supported Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison for DNC chair. He said he agreed with Ellison's grassroots approach to "open the doors to working people" and thought his priorities of "less emphasis on raising large sums of money" and "more emphasis on bringing new blood" were apt.

However, Sanders would not opine whether House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is facing a challenge from Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan in the upcoming leadership elections, should be replaced.

"Nancy is a friend of mine and I think she has done a very good job," Sanders said. "But I think that is an issue the people in the House will have to decide."

This article has been updated to reflect that Sen. Bernie Sanders identifies as a *democratic* socialist.