The Buzz

Sanders nabs ex-Clinton supporter in SC Democratic primary

Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign picked up a former Hillary Clinton supporter Monday.

Speaking in Columbia Monday, state Rep. Justin Bamberg – the attorney for the family of Walter Scott, the unarmed black man shot and killed by a North Charleston police officer last summer – said he had switched his endorsement to Sanders from Clinton.

A first-term Democrat from the town of Bamberg, Bamberg addressed Sanders critics who say the senator’s progressive proposals are impractical or would be hard to sell to a divided Congress.

“People have said that Bernie’s ideas are unachievable, that they are impossible,” Bamberg said. “We live in the greatest country on earth. We are a country that has proven time and time again that with innovation, hard work and pure heart, all things are achievable. ...

“Don’t tell me that we cannot provide Americans the right to health care ... because that right is a matter of life and death for many Americans.”

Bamberg noted the closing of two hospitals in his district, including one in Barnwell last week. Democrats say the state’s failure to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act has hurt rural hospitals, forcing some to close.

Bamberg also hit two Sanders campaign themes, stressing the importance of free college education and changing the political process.