Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is stumping through Midwestern states his campaign says provide the strongest path to winning the White House.
Sanders told a crowd at a rally near Detroit that President Trump is failing to deliver on his promises to working-class voters.
Trump flipped Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania red in large part by pledging to bring back outsourced manufacturing jobs.
But Sanders told a crowd at Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan the President is a “pathological liar” pretending to be a friend of the working class while pursuing trade and other policies that are driving jobs away from the U.S.
Sanders, however, vows to bring what he calls “justice” to all segments of the nation’s populace by offering single-payer health care coverage, free college tuition and aggressively battling both Wall Street and climate change.
Those are the issues, Sanders said, that earned him a shocking victory in Michigan’s Democratic presidential primary in 2016.
“Our political revolution began here, in a significant way, in Michigan, ” Sanders said.
“(That was) when the people of this state demanded a government and an economy that works for all people and not just the one percent.”
The Vermont senator told the Macomb crowd he initiated the progressive agenda he insists will defeat Trump in 2020.
Sanders says his ideas were once seen as too radical by Democratic Party insiders.
Now, he says, they are a part of almost every Democratic presidential candidate’s platform.
“We have come a long way in transforming politics in America. And now our job is too complete what we started,” Sanders says.
Yet with Democrats fielding an extremely diverse slate of presidential candidates, some in the party say Sanders time has passed, that the 77-year-old should step back and let a new generation carry the progressive mantle.
But that wasn’t the view of many at the Warren rally.
Some said they were there to see if Sanders had changed or moderated his views since 2016.
Others, like Algonac’s Cassia Schmid, said Sanders has their support because he is the “original” progressive.
Schmid says she came to Michigan from Brazil a decade ago.
She says she became a U.S. citizen in the past few weeks precisely so she could vote for Sanders.
“I thought the country was in a good direction when I came in here so I never thought about becoming a citizen. Last elections took me by surprise. I decided to apply for citizenship and sign up to vote,” Schmid says. “I like (Sanders) progressive ideas and he’s been consistent since the beginning. I’ve never seen him changing his mind about those or jumping from idea to idea.”
Sanders’ candidacy still seems to be resonating nationwide.
He raised over $18 million in just the first month-and-a-half of his official campaign, well ahead of his Democratic rivals.
And Sanders sits at or near the top of most polls of Democratic voters list of preferred candidates.
WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter was at the Sanders rally in Warren and talked about it with Detroit’s Morning Edition host, Pat Batcheller.