Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the close of the Republican National Convention Thursday night, and his incendiary politics provided Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders all the ammunition he needed to lambast Trump, who, he asserts, "has made bigotry and divisiveness the cornerstone of his campaign."
Sanders, who recently endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, railed into the real estate mogul on Twitter using the hashtag #RNCwithBernie as he watched the proceedings on television from his home in Vermont.
From the start, Sanders did not mince words.
Nor did Sanders allow Trump's denunciation of "15 years of wars in the Middle East" to slip by. Trump sparked more controversy this week after he said he would limit American intervention in global crises. When asked whether he would defend American allies in NATO and East Asia, Trump cast doubt as to how seriously he takes the United States' NATO treaty commitments. “If we are not going to be reasonably reimbursed for the tremendous cost of protecting these massive nations with tremendous wealth … then yes, I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself,’” Trump said.
Sanders challenged Trump's stance on multilateral trade deals.
He also criticized Trump for what he didn't say.
He even compared Trump, who has often undermined the role of Congress, to a dictator.
Sanders appeared to side with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who made headlines after refusing to endorse Trump at the convention. Cruz did not acknowledge Trump by name in his speech and urged those in the crowd to "vote your conscience."
A vote for Trump, Sanders insinuated, is a vote for the establishment. Sanders is a progressive who used his presence on the campaign trail to sway voters who have expressed reservations about Clinton's past and present Wall Street ties.
Finally, Sanders took Trump to task for his climate change denial. Trump has often called change "a hoax." Trump's top pick for energy secretary is oil and fracking billionaire Harold Hamm, who took the stage to declare that “[e]very time we can’t drill a well in America, terrorism is being funded.” Despite an announcement from NASA this week that this June was the hottest June on record, the convention adopted a platform spurning the Paris climate agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
According to Twitter analytics, Sanders' tweets were the most retweeted tweets during Trump's acceptance speech.