WRITTEN BY: JOHN COLE
The Independent Senator representing the State of Vermont running to be the Democratic Candidate for President took the stage in Philadelphia a day after his big win in the state of Wisconsin. The 74-year-old calling for a political revolution has been known for his electrifying rallies and his message seems to be relatively the same in each of his addresses. With both candidates making their pitch to the city of Brotherly Love yesterday, Bernie Sanders took his campaign to Temple University. Sen. Sanders took the podium in front of a packed Liacouras Center and here are my biggest takeaways from his address.
- Hillary Clinton is not qualified IF…
Sen. Sanders referenced the race is tightening between himself and the former Secretary of State and how her campaign is getting a bit nervous. Sanders addressed her comments about how he is not qualified to be President of the United States with a response of his own.
Sanders stated that she was not qualified “IF” she supported the War in Iraq, supported free trade agreements, and takes millions through super PACs.
Sanders’s comments have taken a life of their own after his rally last night as supporters of Secretary Clinton have fired back. The former Mayor of Philadelphia and Hillary Clinton supporter, Michael Nutter tweeted a response to his comments last night.
Nutter: “Hillary Clinton is #morethanqualified to be POTUS, & Bernie Sanders is actually attacking the POTUS (President of the United States, Barack Obama) thru Hillary. Shame Senator, take it back”
The comments of Sen. Sanders’ seem to have been taken out of context by people, but have drawn the most attention from his address in North Philadelphia.
- “Standing with the Latino community”
Sen. Sanders and the Democratic Party as a whole have the same opinion on the current status of the millions of illegal immigrants in the United States. Last night, Sen. Sanders said if he is elected he will make sure they have a “path to citizenship” and that if Congress “doesn’t do their job” he will use his job as executive to pass legislation.
- “Young people not getting the attention they deserve”
A well-known theme of Sanders’s push for the nomination is his stance on the current federal minimum wage and the need for $15 an hour. Sanders discussed families of having mothers and fathers working full time jobs as well as their kids working full time to get by. His comments of “Young people not getting the attention they deserve” is consistent with his message, but was a bit surprising to me.
- “The majority of Police…”
Sen. Sanders has been consistent in his call for criminal justice reform on the campaign trail and reiterated his feelings toward it last night. Sanders talked about his time as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont and working with police and stated that the vast majority of police were honest, good people doing a hard job, but the officers who break the law must be held accountable.
- “Marijuana is not heroin, that’s for sure”
Sen. Sanders has been known for being the most progressive candidate for president on a multitude of issues and the topic of marijuana is not different. Sanders discussed how Marijuana being classified as a “Schedule 1” drug by the DEA with heroin needed to be changed. His quote, “Marijuana is not heroin, that’s for sure” was followed by loud cheers from the crowd.
It was also noteworthy that the senator stated the legalization of marijuana was a “state issue.”
- Beating Donald Trump
Sen. Sanders discussed the distinct differences between himself and Secretary Clinton to the thousands of people at the Liacouras Center, but only mentioned one of the three GOP candidates for the nomination.
Donald Trump has been mentioned time and time again in every candidate’s campaign distancing themselves from the GOP frontrunner, but Bernie Sanders only referenced Trump and did not mention Sen. Cruz or Gov. Kasich once.
Some of the loudest cheers of the night were when Sen. Sanders referenced beating Trump head-to-head in polls for the presidency.
- Protecting Veterans
Sen. Sanders referenced his experience with working and taking care of veterans by being the Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
Sanders told a story of a veteran relying on Social Security and that not being enough. Sanders criticized the GOP for wanting to cut Social Security benefits, while he said he will expand Social Security benefits.
- “Get outta politics”
The Democratic Party has accused the Republican Party of passing legislation to suppress voting rights and in turn drawing a lower voter turnout.
Sanders called on Republican governors who pass legislation to suppress voter turnout to “Get outta politics.”
- Rebuilding America
Sen. Sanders who has been vocal in his opposition of the Iraq War from the start discussed how to better spend American money.
Sanders discussed that, if America “can rebuild the infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan, we sure as hell can do it here.”
Sanders promised that, if elected, he will rebuild American infrastructure, which will result in many good paying jobs.
- Calling out the Waltons
How can one type an article about a Bernie Sanders rally without mentioning the cause that has brought his campaign this close to the nomination?
Bernie Sanders’ stance on the top 1% has drawn many people to his rallies and last night he called out the Walton family for the way they run Wal-Mart.
Sanders reiterated the wealth of the Walton family and stated, “Get off of welfare and pay your workers a living wage.”