Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has a proven track record of defending the middle class. He supports raising the minimum wage and opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He supports collective bargaining and opposes tax breaks for America’s wealthiest.

But because Sen. Sanders is running for president as a Democrat, and therefore against Hillary Clinton, the mainstream media has decided to focus on that rather than the candidates’ records.

When asked on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday if he was ready to go after Clinton with a “hard edge,” Sen. Sanders pointed the finger back at the media.

“I’ve never run a negative political ad in my life.  People in Vermont know that I run in many, many campaigns. I don’t believe in ugly 30-second ads. I believe in serious debates on serious issues. I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. Maybe I shouldn’t say this. I like Hillary Clinton. I respect Hillary Clinton. Will the media, among others, allow us to have a civil debate on civil issues? Or is the only way to get media attention by ripping apart someone else? I certainly hope that’s not the case.”

Sanders was then asked if he was ready to “sharply point out” where other Democratic candidates have not fought for the middle and lower classes. He responded, “of course.”

“The American people want to hear serious discussions on why they’re working longer hours for low wages. They want to know about why year after year we have these disastrous trade agreements, why the rich get richer and everybody else gets poorer.  Are you in the media prepared to allow us to engage in that serious debate? Or do I have to get media attention by simply making reckless attacks on Hillary Clinton or anybody else? I don’t believe in that. I believe in serious debates on serious issues.”

Watch the full interview from State of the Union.