SANDERS REPEATS 'REVOLUTION' TALK 3,000 Rally at Arena Ahead of Saturday Caucuses

By Deshais, Nicholas | The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), March 25, 2016 | Go to article overview

SANDERS REPEATS 'REVOLUTION' TALK 3,000 Rally at Arena Ahead of Saturday Caucuses


Deshais, Nicholas, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)


ELECTION 2016

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told supporters Thursday afternoon for the second time in less than a week that "it does look like Spokane is ready for a political revolution."

Before nearly 3,000 people at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Sanders started his hourlong speech contending he could still win the Democratic Party's nomination because he is the strongest candidate to beat Donald Trump.

"We are all going to do everything we can to make certain that a Republican does not occupy the White House," he said. "In order to do that, we need the strongest Democratic candidate possible. And you are looking at him. ... We are the strongest candidate. If people are worried about that, as they should, we are going to work together to get the nomination."

Washington will hold its Democratic caucuses Saturday, and Sanders made another swing through the state Thursday, starting at the Arena. Nearly 10,000 came to hear Sanders speak Sunday at the Convention Center, but only about 1,000 were allowed in the room for his rally because of fire code restrictions.

With the huge turnout Sunday and a lopsided victory in Tuesday's Idaho caucuses - notably with 84 percent of the vote in Boundary County - Sanders clearly sees fertile political ground in the Inland Northwest.

Though Thursday's crowd was much smaller than Sunday's, Sanders still urged attendees to caucus Saturday. He said when working- class and young people participate, he does well.

"If we talk about the issue of which candidate is best able to defeat Donald Trump, there really should not be a whole lot of debate about that," he said, noting that a CNN poll showed Hillary Clinton, his rival for the nomination, beating Trump by 12 percentage points.

"That's very good. We beat him by 20 points," he said. "Poll after poll after poll makes it clear that we do much better not only against Trump but against other Republican candidates."

As during the earlier Spokane rally, the crowd hung on Sanders' words and was quick to scream in approval. He treated them with equal flattery.

Sanders called for a "Medicare for all" health care system, free college tuition, an end to deporting immigrants who are in the United States illegally, a ban on fracking, decriminalization of drug offenses and a $15-an-hour minimum wage. He rang familiar notes of a "rigged economy" helping wealthy individuals and corporations over the vast majority of working Americans.

Besides Trump, he took on his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He noted that a super PAC is working on Clinton's behalf and vowed to never to allow a super PAC to work on his. …

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