NEW YORK, April 14 (UPI) — Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders promised a fight against the Washington “status quo” and denounced “corporate greed and the rigged economy” in a star-studded campaign stop in New York City’s Washington Square Park.
With some 27,000 people in attendance — his third largest campaign stop behind those in Portland, Ore. and Los Angeles — Sanders told the crowd of mostly young adults he was confident his campaign would win in Tuesday’s New York primary to land “a surprise for the establishment.”
Sanders, using much of what has already been said in his campaign stops nationwide, made sharp distinctions between himself and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
“You can tell a lot about a candidate and the campaign they run by how they raise the money to run those campaigns,” he said. “When we began this campaign, we had to make a choice. Would we do what every other campaign is doing and establish a super PAC? We agreed with you. We do not represent the billionaire class. We do not represent corporate America. We do not represent Wall Street. We do not want their money.”
Sanders called for a change to the criminal justice system and said police officers must be held accountable for misdeeds.
He said his campaign has been listening to the voices of America. In a focus on the Latino community, he said he work to a path to citizenship, using an executive order if necessary.
“When we stand together — black and white and Latino and Asian American — when we do not allow the Donald Trumps of the world to divide us up, there is nothing we can’t accomplish,” he said.
The rally included appearances from actors Tim Robbins and Rosario Dawson, and filmmaker Spike Lee, all native New Yorkers, speaking with praise about the promise Sanders brings.
“We are supporting a candidate that has taken principled positions when others have compromised,” Robbins said. “What a radical concept: a politician that has a moral bottom line.”
At the same time, Clinton made her rounds in New York. She made an unscheduled stop in Midtown Manhattan to greet striking Verizon workers. She received a warm welcome from the Rev. Al Sharpton-led National Action Network.
“I believe that Democrats have a special obligation. If we’re going to ask African-Americans to vote for us, we cannot take you, or your vote for granted,” she said. “We can’t just show up at election time and say the right things and think that’s enough.”