Sanders brings his ‘political revolution’ to Wilmington

 

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to his supporters following a rally at Recreation Hall on the campus of Penn State University last week in  State College, Pennsylvania. ( Washington Post photo/Ricky Carioti)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to his supporters following a rally at Recreation Hall on the campus of Penn State University last week in State College, Pennsylvania. ( Washington Post photo/Ricky Carioti)

WILMINGTON — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., encapsulated what he wanted to make absolutely clear to Delawareans heading to the presidential primary polls on Tuesday.

“This country faces many, many questions and that we are not going to effectively address those questions with a declining middle class and grotesque level of inequality unless we are prepared to stand up to big money interests who have so much influence on our economic and political lives,” the Democratic presidential candidate stressed during a telephone interview with the Delaware State News on Saturday.

Noting that “my state of Vermont is smaller than Delaware,” Sen. Sanders said he believes in the impact of local initiatives and said many great ideas generated in the First State could be beneficial throughout the nation.

The senator said he believes his candidacy is prepared to “shock people” on Tuesday and take Delaware’s vote and others, along with making a stronger showing in Connecticut. Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island will also hold primaries Tuesday.

During a 66-minute speech before thousands of Delawareans that followed at the Chase Center, the candidate outlined his vision of “A Future to Believe In,” often pointing to corporate greed and big money campaign contributions designed to swing the vote against him and toward rival Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Sanders urged Delawareans to make it the highest turnout in state history, noting that high interest primaries have produced his candidacy’s best voting results.

“Let Delaware show the world that it is prepared to go forward in a political revolution,” he said in final remarks before exiting the podium to an outpouring of applause.

Beginning his presentation, the candidate immediately referenced Vice President Joe Biden’s neutral position in the Sanders versus Clinton choice, but preferring the Vermont Congressman’s “aspirational” style opposed to “over cautious.”

Beginning his campaign about a year ago and polling at three percent and 60 points behind Mrs. Clinton, Sen. Sanders sounded inspired by some national polls that now have him in the lead.

Better yet, he said, “We’re beating Donald Trump in every instance and almost always by larger margins than Secretary Clinton.”

Comparing the current election system as an oligarchy due to high dollar wealthy individuals and companies contributing to Political Action Committees, Sen. Sanders said his seven million individual campaign contributors provided an average of $27 to his cause.

“We’re (running) a campaign of the people,” Sen. Sanders said. “ … (Most powerful special interests make campaign contributions) and they know what we’re doing.”

Touching on differences with Mrs. Clinton, he pointed to his opposition of the war in Iraq in 2002 and noted that the overthrow of ruthless tyrants like Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad and Muammar Gaddafi must also come with an understanding of the people in those counties and what consequences an introduction of democracy will bring.

Pushing for revised trade policies, Sen. Sanders stressed that United States companies should more often create their products here and pay a living wage. He believes a $15 hourly wage is needed so folks working 40 hours per week should not be living in poverty.

“We’ve got to tell companies that they can’t continue to ship jobs elsewhere,” he said.

More efficient and sustainable energy sources are needed he said, including “wind, solar, geothermal and other technologies.” He wants to stand up to the “fossil fuel industry and save this planet” put a tax on carbon product and target a “corrupt campaign finance system.”

Regarding a wide disparity of income and benefits between the country’s rich and poor, Sen. Sanders said “A nation is not judged by how many millionaires … or nuclear weapons it has, but it is judged on how it treats the weakest and most vulnerable among us.”

A Sanders presidency would bring the introduction of free education and public colleges and universities, something he said is available in every other major country in the world today.

Noting the staggering student loans needed to get through higher education today, “student debt should be refinanced at the lowest interest rate they can find.”

Also, he said he wants to “Transfer money back into the hand of the middle class” and “Tax Wall Street on speculation because “Greed and illegal behavior nearly destroyed this country’s economy.”

An uphill battle continued on, considering Mrs. Clinton’s substantial lead in delegates (1,428 to 1,153) and super delegates (502 to 38).

State Rep. Kim Williams, D-Newport, was an introductory speaker before Sen. Sanders arrived, and said, “The room was energized. It was amazing.

“You see him on television and then when you see his message in person it’s amplified, it’s clear. He speaks to the people.”

There was also time for Rep. Williams and others to meet behind closed doors during his visit.

“What you see publicly of him is what you see privately,” she said. “You see his passion for the American people, you see his passion to make sure all people are heard.

“He’s a great man.”

Staff writer Craig Anderson can be reached at 741-8296 or canderson@newszap.com.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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