The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

‘Single-issue’ candidate Bernie Sanders touches on 20 issues during a Michigan campaign stop

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders greets supporters at a campaign rally at the United Auto Workers in Dearborn, Mich., on Monday. (Reuters/Jim Young)

YPSILANTI, Mich. -- In the Democratic presidential race, it’s become a familiar refrain: Bernie Sanders is a “single-issue candidate,” according to his rival, Hillary Clinton.

No doubt, the Vermont senator has more to say about economic policy than anything else. But as evidenced by a campaign stop here Monday, Sanders’s pitch is far broader than the caricature that’s been offered by the former secretary of state.

During an hour-long speech to a crowd of about 9,400 people at Eastern Michigan University, Sanders touched on issues including health care, immigration, criminal justice, climate change and marijuana policy, among others. All told, we tallied 20 issues -- give or take a few, depending on how one counts.

Clinton in Nevada: ‘Not everything is about an economic theory’

As is often the case, Sanders said little about foreign policy other than a mention of the Iraq war. But his topics were more diverse than Clinton has suggested in recent campaign stops.

Here’s a look at the issues Sanders covered:

1. Universal health care. Sanders backs a single-payer, “Medicare-for-all” system, saying that “America must join the rest of the industrialized world and provide health care for all."

2. Federal intervention in Flint, Mich. Sanders condemns the water contamination crisis, saying it is stunting children's development. He calls for the resignation of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and says: “If the local government cannot protect those children, if the state government cannot protect those children, then the federal government better get in.”

3. Minimum wage. Sanders calls the current federal rate of $7.25 “a starvation wage” and says it should be raised to $15 an hour.

4. Wealth inequality. Sanders decries the disparity between families like the Waltons, who own Walmart, and most Americans. He has offered several changes to the tax code to address the gap.

5. Jail population. Sanders noted that the United States has the largest incarcerated population in the world and says that will no longer be the case if he is president.

6. Planned Parenthood funding. While Republicans want to “defund” the women’s health organization, which has been caught up in a controversy over abortion services, Sanders wants to expand its funding.

7. Same-sex marriage. Sanders pledges to protect new rights in all 50 states for gay couples to marry.

8. Paid family and medical leave. Sanders wants to guarantee three months of paid leave after the birth of a child.

9. Federal jobs program. Sanders wants to spend $1 trillion to create 13 million jobs to “rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.”

10. Child care. Sanders wants to invest more money to create a “world-class” child-care system.

11. Trade policy. Sanders cites his past opposition to NAFTA and other “disastrous” deals and vows to fight the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership being championed by President Obama.

12. Prosecute Wall Street offenders. Sanders bemoans how financial giants like Goldman Sachs could pay a $5 billion settlement for fraudulent behavior without any of its executives going to jail.

13. Marijuana policy. Sanders wants to remove marijuana from the federal government’s list of dangerous drugs and allow states to decide whether to legalize possession without intervention by Washington.

14. Voting rights. Sanders opposes efforts by Republican governors to impose additional barriers to voting, says those who do should “get another job.”

Democratic presidential nominee Bernie Sanders says he supports a swift nomination and confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice to replace Antonin Scalia. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). (Video: Reuters)

15. Supreme Court appointment. With a vacancy created by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Sanders urges Republicans to “obey the Constitution” and consider for confirmation any nominee put forward by President Obama.

16. Campaign finance reform. Sanders wants the Supreme Court to overturn the Citizens United decision, which allows unlimited campaign contributions. He says that would be a litmus test for any new justice he appoints.

17. Free college tuition. Sanders calls for making tuition free at public universities and colleges and says lower interest rates should be available for those who currently have debt for “the crime of getting a college education.”

18. Tax on Wall Street speculation. Sanders proposes a tax on Wall Street trades, saying it’s the financial sector’s turn to help out the middle class after being bailed out by taxpayers after the 2008 meltdown.

19. Climate change. Sanders says policymakers have a “moral obligation” to curb emissions contributing to the warming of the planet.

20. Iraq war. Sanders argues that the U.S. invasion destabilized the Middle East and says his 2002 vote against it shows his judgment on foreign policy. He also argues that if the country can spend so much on the war, it can invest in other priorities at home.