- Associated Press - Saturday, October 22, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont Democrats are cheering home-state hero Bernie Sanders as a series of weekend election rallies allowed them to offer their thanks and praise.

The U.S. senator from Vermont got 86 percent of the vote over Hillary Clinton in the state’s Democratic presidential primary in March, before losing the party nomination to her.

The love showed in Montpelier on Friday as he kicked off the series of appearances with gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter and other Democrats. Rallies were scheduled in Vergennes, Bennington and Rutland on Saturday and in Burlington and St. Albans on Sunday.

Minter was among those thanking Sanders for pushing Clinton and other national Democrats to include in the party’s platform, such provisions as a $15 minimum wage, tough Wall Street reforms and a carbon tax to discourage overuse of fossil fuels.

“Thank you, Bernie, for changing the course of our national conversation, for making social and economic justice the center of our political agenda, for fighting for Main Street and not Wall Street, for making it a priority to rebuild our middle class,” Minter said, interrupted by applause at each pause.

Sanders drew cheers from the crowd of about 400 as he insisted that a state that is second smallest in population can lead the nation and the world toward needed changes.

“As you know, nationally, democracy is in fact being threatened by Citizens United and billionaires all over this country who intend to do everything they can to buy the elections,” Sanders said in a reference to a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down limits on independent campaign contributions by organizations including corporations.

“And in Vermont we are saying ‘You are not going to buy this election,’” Sanders added. “Democracy will prevail.”

Sanders urged his audience to gear up for a fight that will continue after the election.

“Our job is to bring that day closer where health care is a right of all people, where public colleges and universities are tuition-free, where we create nationally millions of good-paying jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.”

He vowed that tiny Vermont, with fewer than 650,000 residents, can have an outsized impact on slowing global climate change.

“This state can lead the country in transforming the energy system and combating climate change,” he said.

As recently as two weeks ago, some Vermont Democrats were asking why Sanders had not done more in his home state, particularly to help Minter, who is locked in a close race with Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott for the governor’s post left open by the retirement of Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Sanders was busy stumping for Clinton around the country, but told The Associated Press and other media he planned to return to Vermont to help in-state Democrats. Sanders isn’t up for re-election until 2018.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide