Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders Draws Record Audience In Wisconsin

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke before the largest crowd drawn by any candidate in 2016 at a rally in Madison, Wisconsin. Sanders announced at the beginning of his speech that they drew the most people to a rally of any candidate this year.

PoliticusUSA reported a record-breaking crowd of 10,000-13,000 filled the venue to capacity with an overflow crowd outside the venue. The Sanders campaign reports it received over 13,000 RSVPs for the event.

Veterans Memorial Coliseum holds 10,000 people inside, but the crowd was so large the audio of Sanders’ speech was piped outside to the people who  couldn't get in.

The event was live streamed on YouTube which drew more than 7,000 online viewers:

Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign Rally
Madison, Wisconsin, July 1, 2015

The Madison rally set the record for the largest crowd at a campaign event by a 2016 candidate in either party. Hillary Clinton’s rally in New York City drew 5,500, and no Republican has drawn an organic crowd that is close to the thousands Bernie Sanders consistently attracts on the campaign trail. Bernie Sanders’ economic message about inequality and the need to take the country back from the billionaires has resonated deeply with millions of Americans, and those voters are coming out by the thousands to support their candidate.

Photo credit Dan Merica

Those in the media who dismiss something happening among the nation's electorate should find a wake-up call in the Madison rally turnout, and Sander's regular strong turnout numbers for his campaign stops.

Sanders responded to Republicans who called him an extremist, “Let me just say a few words to my friends in the Republican Party about extremism. When you deny the right of workers to come together in collective bargaining that’s extremism. When you tell a woman that she can not control her own body, that’s extremism. When you think a woman is a child and can’t purchase a contraceptive, that is extremism. When you give tax breaks to billionaires and refuse to raise the minimum wage, that’s extremism.”

Bernie Sanders might have been talking about Republicans in general, but he was specifically detailing the record of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Sanders delivered his message that billionaires can’t have it all. Sen. Sanders called out Gov. Scott Walker directly, “What we are saying to the Koch brothers, Gov. Walker, and all of those people is that this great country, and our government belong to all of the people, and not just a handful of very wealthy people.”

Sen. Sanders also took Walker to task on the minimum wage, “Gov. Walker may disagree, but to my mind the federal minimum wage of seven and a quarter an hour is a starvation wage, which must be raised.” Scott Walker embodies the exact agenda that Bernie Sanders is fighting against. Walker has made himself the poster boy for the extremist Koch agenda.

The progressive view Sanders gives America is not new, and it’s not particularly radical. It sounds radical to some given the country's decades-long turn toward hyper-conservatism.

More at Common Dreams

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