CONCORD, New Hampshire – Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday returned to the state that launched him into political orbit.
Making his first look in New Hampshire since saying his second bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, the impartial senator from neighboring Vermont pushed his populist agenda of progressive proposals to a crowd of 850 packed into an area convention middle on a snowy late-winter day in northern New England.
Sanders’ crushing victory over Hillary Clinton within the first-in-the-nation main state’s 2016 contest skyrocketed the one-time longshot right into a marathon battle with the eventual Democratic Celebration nominee, which didn’t finish till Sanders endorsed Clinton after the conclusion of the first and caucus calendar.
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“I wish to supply a really particular due to the folks of New Hampshire. In 2016, that is the place the political revolution took off,” he mentioned to loud applause.
Sanders repeatedly focused President Trump in his almost hour-long speech, saying he “constantly lies.”
And, Sanders charged that “underneath President Trump, the very idea of democracy is underneath assault by a president who appears intent on emulating the authoritarian leaders in Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and elsewhere that he appears to have a lot affection for.”
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The candidate pushed his progressive proposals, corresponding to legal justice reform, the “Medicare-for-all” single-payer well being care plan and common inexpensive childcare, and as soon as once more vowed “to make public faculties and universities tuition free.”
He additionally mentioned “that local weather change just isn’t a hoax however is an existential risk to the way forward for our nation and your complete planet… We’ll remodel our vitality system away from fossil gas and into vitality effectivity and sustainable vitality.”
Nonetheless, Sanders made no point out of the Inexperienced New Deal, the sweeping proposal beloved by progressives however ridiculed by many Republicans that goals to remodel the nation’s financial system to battle local weather change — whereas enacting a bunch of latest health-care and welfare packages.
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As he was making his longstanding push for a $15-per-hour federal minimal wage, Sanders mentioned, “Right this moment, we are saying to Walmart, the quick meals trade,” earlier than being interrupted by a supporter who yelled, “f— you.”
The outburst introduced cheers from the group and Sanders shortly remarked, “effectively, that’s one approach to say it.”
Sanders didn’t take any questions from the viewers or from native and nationwide reporters. After he posed for selfies and shook palms with a few of his supporters, he met briefly with a small group of his high Granite State supporters earlier than heading to a second marketing campaign occasion within the southwestern New Hampshire metropolis of Keene.
The Republican Nationwide Committee took intention at Sanders, saying his “radical push for socialism is supercharging the Democratic main to the left.”
“With calls for presidency management of healthcare, schooling and a takeover of almost each facet of our lives with the Inexperienced New Deal, Sanders’ socialist platform will rob Granite Staters of their freedoms whereas bankrupting America at a price of trillions of ,” added RNC spokeswoman Mandi Merritt.
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Sanders arrived within the Granite State on a roll in his marketing campaign – he’s close to the highest of almost each nationwide and early voting state public opinion ballot within the Democratic nomination race and he raked in a whopping $6 million within the first 24 hours following his February launch.
However, he additionally has confronted competitors from a big area of rivals – lots of them youthful and pushing the identical progressive proposals Sanders moved from the acute to the mainstream of the occasion within the 2016 marketing campaign.
Whereas lots of Sanders’ 2016 supporters are backing him as soon as once more, some have mentioned they’re procuring round.
Adam Martson of Dover mentioned “I’d positively be open to” a youthful Democratic contender advocating the identical progressive proposals who might have a greater shot at profitable the overall election.
“I’m actually all for who can beat Trump,” he added.
Kendall Rasmussen, who drove up from Medford, Mass., mentioned she backed Sanders in 2016.
“I’m in all probability leaning in the direction of Bernie however I’m not really ready to make a dedication but. I simply can’t say but,” she defined. “Who’s going to win in opposition to Trump. That’s an enormous issue.”
And, Melissa Fisk of Harmony – one of many few 2016 Clinton supporters to attend the rally – mentioned she’s trying out all of the Democratic 2020 contenders and is much from deciding.
“It’s anyone however Trump,” she emphasised.
However, Lorna Wakefield of Sanborton mentioned she’s sticking with Sanders 100 %.
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“Bernie’s the one who began this all. We’re with Bernie,” she emphasised.
And, Chris Liquori of Portsmouth – a member of the Sanders steering committee in New Hampshire – argued, “why accept the imitation whenever you’ve acquired any individual who’s been doing this for 40 years, who introduced the occasion to its knees and introduced them the place they’re now. Why would you go together with anybody else?”