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Bernie Sanders doesn’t have smartphone apps or Amazon Prime



US presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders said his smartphone doesn’t have any apps. He doesn’t have an Amazon Prime membership, he said, and he hasn’t personally tweeted from his very popular Twitter account anytime recently.

As for digital security, he has a woman named Melissa for that.

“There is a woman in my office whose name is Melissa who drives me crazy and gets angry at me all the time,” Sanders said in a recent interview with The New York Times. “We take that issue very seriously, and she works on my phone and my iPad, my computer, as she does for the whole office.”

In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times’ editorial board that was published this week, Sanders spoke to a variety of subjects on technology. 

When asked outright if he personally has an Amazon Prime membership, Sanders flatly answered “no.” 

Sanders has been a frequent critic of Amazon and its owner, billionaire Jeff Bezos. He pressured the company publicly to raise its minimum wage for workers to $15 per hour, which Amazon did, and he even introduced a bill explicitly going after Bezos — the “Stop BEZOS” bill

Notably, Sanders’ campaign has spent nearly a quarter million dollars — mostly on office supplies — through Amazon. After reports surfaced last summer, Sanders campaign staff pushed the campaign to stop using Amazon’s service.

Bernie Sanders Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders also spoke to the cultural impact of technology — particularly smartphones — in modern life. 

“I’m not the psychologist here,” Sanders said, “but I know that my grandchildren come over to the house, my wife gets angry at them because they’re looking at their damn machines rather than talking to anybody else. And I do worry about the long-term implications.”

Both the 2016 and 2020 Sanders campaigns heavily employ social media, and Sanders’ Twitter account boasts over 10 million followers. Sanders himself isn’t the one operating it these days, he said.

“Not so much lately, but when I had the time I did,” he said. “I am not a geek, but I understood way back when the power of social media.”

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