YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The man who once put up a serious challenge to Hillary Clinton for their party’s nomination is now urging people to vote for his former opponent.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appeared in front of a group at Youngstown State University’s Stambaugh Stadium Thursday afternoon. He was last in town in March, appearing at the Covelli Centre just one day before he lost the Ohio primary to Clinton.
Although he lost the primary and the Democratic nomination, he sounded many of the same themes he had been saying when he was running last spring.
Sanders talked about creating an economy that “works for all Americans, not just the middle class.”
“Middle class shrinking, millions living in dire poverty, the very, very rich getting richer. Large corporations enjoying huge profits. That is where we are today and what our job together is, to create an economy that works for all Americans, not just the billionaire class,” he said.Sanders also discussed a need to overhaul campaign financing.
“Billionaires are trying to buy the United States Congress… We have got to overturn this awful Citizens United Supreme Court decision,” he said.
Many of those in attendance said they supported the Vermont senator during his Democratic primary and were disappointed to learn recently what was happening behind the scenes between party leaders and the media to boost Clinton’s campaign.
“We all knew that he was never gonna get a fair shot, like, they always were pushing Hillary up to the top, the last few years even,” said Ryan Neice.
Connie Buck said, “I was never anti-Hillary. I think the DNC kinda screwed Bernie over a lot.”
Sanders avoided saying anything about Clinton’s recent problems with Wikileaks and the FBI investigations into her emails, instead urging the crowd to vote for his former opponent and praising the current administration.
“Any objection observer will tell you that we are much better off today than we were eight years ago. Thank you, President Obama,” he said.
He also accused Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump, of fueling racism.
“What has bothered me the most is that he has made the cornerstone in his campaign for president bigotry and trying to divide us up,” he said.
Much like Clinton’s trip to Kent State University on Monday, Sanders’ appearance at YSU appeared aimed at younger voters — a group he drew heavily from earlier this year. His speech even touched on many of same themes from the primary — such as increasing the minimum wage and providing free tuition to students from middle class families.
“How you gonna pay for them? Well, I’ll tell you how we’re gonna pay for them. We’re gonna tell Donald Trump and his billionaire friends that they’re gonna start paying their fair share of taxes,” he said to the loudest cheers during the event.
It’s something Clinton supporters hope will help carry them to victory Tuesday.