SAN BERNARDINO — Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump “will not be the next president of the United States” on Tuesday evening as he riled up thousands of his fans who had gathered both inside and outside the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino.
“Donald Trump will not be president because in every national poll for the last two months, I have beat him. And we defeat him by, in sometimes, double-digits and by far greater numbers than does Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton,” he said. “So if the Democratic Party wants a candidate that is going to beat Trump and defeat him, then we are that campaign.”
According to security and Secret Service at the event, the maximum capacity at the venue was estimated to be around 4,700 people. However, the line outside the event showed far more, and there were nearly 1,000 people standing outside the venue merely listening to the Vermont senator speak.
“We love you Bernie!” several people shouted from the floor of the standing-room only room. The reaction triggered roaring cheers from those who had gathered.
“From up here you look very beautiful yourselves,” Sanders said, thanking them. “What makes our country great is our diversity. It is the way we stand together as black and white, Asian, Latino … That is our beauty, that is our strength.”
As he has done in his previous speeches, Sanders blasted the “rigged economy” structure he believes exists in America, targeting the billionaires, Wall Street and corporate America. “They cannot have it all. This country belongs to all of us. Not just them.” He plugged that he both came from a working-class family, and said “I will always stand with the working class people of this country.”
During his speech, he also made specific mention of senior citizens and veterans. While Sanders has fared far better among youth than Clinton, she has generally done better among seniors than Sanders has. A poll conducted by PRRI/The Atlantic in April shows two-thirds of seniors supporting Clinton. Older citizens are also more likely to vote during presidential election years.
Sanders aid “this campaign is listening to senior citizens and disabled veterans. A great nation, brothers and sisters, is not judged by how many millionaires it has or how many nuclear weapons it has. A great nation is judged by people and how it responds to the most vulnerable among them.”
He added that America has thousands of seniors who are trying to survive on just $10,000 dollars annually from Social Security. “No one can survive on that,” he said, adding that he had “bad news for Republicans,” whom he suggested are attempting to cut the social program. He said that as president he would both keep the program in place and “extend it.”
Sanders also tackled the issue of legalizing marijuana, as California will face an initiative on the November 4 ballot that will determine whether or not to legalize marijuana in the state. “The decision as to whether or not legalize marijuana is a state, not federal decision,” he said. “We have got to rethink the so-called War on Drugs,” Sanders said as he urged the crowd to vote in favor of the measure.
He said marijuana possession is a “racial issue because as the white and black community does marijuana at equal rates, blacks are four times more likely than whites to be arrested. Right now, under the Federal Law Enforcement Act, marijuana is listed as a Schedule 1 substance drug, right next to heroin… nobody I know thinks that marijuana is equivalent to a killer drug like heroin,” he said, adding that it should be taken off of the Federal list of controlled substances.
“We have more people in jail than any other country in the world. If we make it to the White House, that embarrassment will end,” Sanders said. “This campaign is about thinking outside the box.”
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