Sen. Bernie Sanders holds rally in East Lansing


EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a campaign rally on Michigan State University campus Wednesday.

“I thought it was fantastic,” Julia Blough of Ann Arbor said. “He covered all the points that I came here to hear and I brought my son who’s 10 and is a huge Bernie supporter. He was kind of the reason we spent the whole day freezing outside to get here and get good seats.”

Roughly 9,000 people waited around two hours to get inside the Breslin Center to listen to the U.S. senator from Vermont, who has particularly resonated with the younger voters.

Sanders hit on a number of his frequent talking points, including ensuring health care and benefits for veterans, tackling institutional racism and a broken criminal justice system and, in what has become a strong platform for him, making higher education affordable.

“50 years ago you, graduated high school, you know what, you could go out in the workforce and get a decent job. The world has changed,” he said.

Sanders focused his speech on the 99 percent.

“A great nation is judged not by how many millionaires and billionaires it has but how it treats its weakest, most vulnerable citizens,” he said.Watch a portion of Sanders’ speech below. App users can click here to watch.

He also alluded to legalizing marijuana, which drew a loud cheer from the crowd.

He also drew cheers when he said he doesn’t represent Wall Street and billionaires, adding “We don’t want their money!”

“This is a campaign of the people, by the people, for the people,” he said, with supporters joining in for the last part of the phrase.

“Pretty much everything he says I’ve been saying for the longest time and I’m just glad to see someone’s actually saying it out (loud) and people are listening,” said Sanders supporter Adam Knapp, a recent college graduate.

Sanders also touched on Michigan-specific topics, including the poverty rate in Detroit and the drinking water crisis in Flint, where he recently visited.

“I cannot recall, in all my political life, such outrage as I heard from the people in Flint,” he said.

Sanders called on Gov. Rick Snyder to resign in the wake of the crisis — which he has done before — and said Snyder’s failures in the matter constituted “dereliction of duty.”

Sanders went on to talk about health care and a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. He also said three months paid family leave after having a baby should be standard.

He urged voters to go to the polls for him on Tuesday for Michigan’s primary, saying that if his supporters show up, he’ll win the state.

“Understand that it won’t come overnight, but keep your eye on the prize and we can make extraordinary things happen,” Sanders added.

Sanders will hold a press conference Thursday morning in Lansing to discuss his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement, more commonly known as NAFTA. 24 Hour News 8 will have a crew there.

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