Cardi B and Bernie Sanders went to a nail salon in Detroit.
They weren’t there for just a photo-op but rather as part of the 26-year-old New York rapper’s effort to educate her followers and voters about the issues that Sanders and other Democratic presidential candidates are focusing on with their campaigns.
In a nearly 12-minute video released Thursday by the Sanders campaign, the two New Yorkers by birth, separated in age by over 50 years, discussed police brutality, health care, student debt, and the minimum wage. The chat marks the latest example of the campaign attempting to create its own media ecosystem of videos, podcasts, and a recently announced newsletter as campaign officials and Sanders himself have charged that mainstream media outlets are unfairly negative about his second presidential bid.
“I’m trying to advocate the youth in my community because I feel like there’s a serious problem right now in America,” Cardi B explained to Sanders. “We have this bully as a president. And the only way to take him out is somebody winning.”
In response to a question she posed to Sanders about police brutality, the senator replied: “Obviously, we need to end all forms of racism in this country from Donald Trump down the local police department. We have something like one out of four young black men in this country end up in the criminal justice system.”
Sanders further told the star rapper that “If a police officer kills somebody, that killing must be investigated by the United States Department of Justice” and that the federal government must ensure that police departments look like the communities they represent and not like “an oppressive army.”
As the conversation continued, Cardi B admitted that at one point she “started to feel, like, ‘I hate the police, they’re pigs,’” but that she does not hate law-enforcement officials and believes many do actively want to protect the communities they serve.
The rapper also told Sanders about her struggles when she was “not famous,” having to hold down multiple jobs and struggling to afford many day-to-day necessities in New York.
“Can you imagine somebody today earning $9 an hour?” Sanders asked her.
“It don’t make no sense,” Cardi B responded.
“No it doesn’t,” Sanders continued. “How do you pay your rent? How do you pay for food? How do you pay for transportation?”
Prior to the recorded interview, Sanders had said he spoke with the rapper and praised her for her understanding of history and politics. Part of that political philosophy is Cardi B’s appreciation for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who Sanders has invoked often on the campaign trail.
“Me and his wife, we have the same birthday,” Cardi B said in the video when Sanders asked if she wanted to talk about their mutual respect for the late president. “I feel like it’s amazing because he became a president when America was in one of its worst times.... I mean come on now, he did the New Deal. Like, that’s the reason we have Social Security.”
“It’s just like goddamn, I love him,” she concluded.
Sanders ended their conversation with a positive message to those who might be tuning in to listen to Cardi B. “If we have young people voting in large numbers,” he said. “You know what, I have zero doubt that Donald Trump will be defeated.”
The friendly chat ended with Cardi B laughing, saying, “Let’s feel the Bern!”