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Kim Beazley offers Bloomberg impromptu campaign wisdom on Bernie Sanders poll bounce

“The Democrats are always very genteel, the ones that I used to come across, and they don’t stick the boot in,” Mr Beazley told business leaders at CEDA’s Perth 2020 Political and Economic outlook lunch on Tuesday.

“If I was Bloomberg, after the performance the other day, I’d be putting out an ad saying ‘here’s a picture of Sanders on his honeymoon in the Soviet Union half-naked’,” he said.

“That’s one of the ones I’d be using. Two, here is Sanders saying he endorses the Ayatollah’s regime in Iran, you get that clip.

“Number three, here is Sanders saying he loves [late Cuban dictator Fidel] Castro and, number four, here’s Sanders avoiding almost all of the child payments he was supposed to make.

“And finally, here’s Sanders who didn’t vote for 40 years.”

Mr Beazley said campaigns such as these would emerge as soon as Mr Sanders was endorsed.

He qualified his comments by noting that he was an observer of US politics.

“Who the Americans elect as president is their business, not ours,” he said.

“And who we elect as Prime Minister is our business not theirs. That’s always important to remember that.”

Speaking on the US-Australia relationship, the former diplomat said it was important for officials on both sides to join the “working bees, making sure underneath that no matter what is happening on the surface, the relationship is sustained”.

“I think by and large we do that pretty well,” he said.

“I think the role for me and for others who have been in official positions in Australia is how do you keep the show on the road even if some of your people are spurned by what they see as emerging on the other side?

“And that’s a challenge. Sanders might not be the candidate, if he’s not the candidate and [Elizabeth] Warren’s not the candidate, then I think it’s likely Trump will be defeated.”

Mr Beazley made the remarks alongside both US consul-general David Gainer and Biejing’s consul-general Dong Zhihua.

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Mr Sanders was this week defending a partial defence he mounted of the Castro regime in Cuba and remarks that although China’s government was increasingly authoritarian, it had taken more people out of extreme poverty than any country in history.

The candidates vying to take on President Trump in November’s election are preparing for next week’s ‘Super Tuesday’ when Democratic party electors from 15 states will vote on who they prefer as their nominee.

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