Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), widely regarded as the most liberal candidate in the Democratic presidential field, made a pitch Thursday morning for his potential appeal to a not-so-obvious segment of the electorate: Republicans.

Sanders, the self-described democratic socialist from Vermont, was a guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, nudged him to talk about areas of “crossover” with GOP voters.

Sanders, who has emerged as a surprisingly strong challenger to Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton as he campaigns on a message of economic fairness, noted at the outset that he has several “strong differences” with many Republicans, including on the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage.

“But you know, Republicans have to send their kids to college,” Sanders said. “Working-class Republicans can’t afford to do that. Working-class Republicans have seen their factories shut down and moved to China. Working-class Republicans are equally disgusted about a campaign-finance system which allows billionaires now to buy elections.”

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