- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 1, 2020

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont tried to rally supporters here on Saturday by warning them that it will be a frustratingly early night on Monday if they don’t drive enough people out to caucus for him.

“On Monday night, we will know very, very early who wins the Democratic caucus,” he said. “If the voter turnout is low, we’re going to lose.”

“If working people, and young people, and if all people who believe in justice - economic justice, social justice, racial justice, environmental justice…if they come out in large numbers, we’re going to win this caucus,” he said.

Mr. Sanders vowed to support the eventual Democratic presidential nominee if he ultimately comes up short and that he would expect his opponents to do the same.

But he made the case that he’s the strongest candidate to take on President Trump because his campaign can bring people off the sidelines who aren’t typically involved in politics.

“I believe that our campaign is the campaign of energy, is the campaign of excitement, is the campaign that can bring millions of people into the political process who normally do not vote,” he said.

Mr. Sanders was campaigning at Simpson College, about 30 minutes south of Des Moines, ahead of Monday’s caucuses, as recent polls show him jockeying with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden for front-runner status.

Joining Mr. Sanders at the event were his wife, Jane, along with two liberal stalwarts in the U.S. House who have endorsed him: Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

Ms. Omar said attacks on Mr. Sanders have become “more and more desperate” and tried to pre-empt some of the potential broadsides forthcoming.

“You might hear a lot of labels being thrown out: Bernie’s too radical. Bernie’s too dangerous. Bernie’s too polarizing, divisive,” she said.

“You might even hear the ‘s word,’” Ms. Omar said of Mr. Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist.”

But she said such attacks are the same ones that the “status quo” has used throughout history to demonize “multi-racial, working-class movements.”

Some of Mr. Sanders‘ supporters have expressed concern that the party establishment is moving to try to blunt his momentum in favor of a more moderate candidate like Mr. Biden, after they felt Mr. Sanders got a similarly raw deal in 2016 in his contest against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who has endorsed Mr. Sanders, tried to walk things back a bit on Saturday after she had booed Mrs. Clinton at an Iowa event on Friday.

“I will continue to strive to come from a place of love and not react in the same way of those who are against what we are building in this country,” Ms. Tlaib said.

Mr. Sanders‘ camp also cried foul after the Democratic National Committee on Friday revised its qualification metrics for the upcoming Nevada debate that could make it easier for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is refusing to accept campaign donations, to qualify.

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