Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was declared the winner of Tuesday’s Indiana primary, beating Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton by at least seven points in what the mainstream media has called a major upset.
With an eye to the upcoming May 17th primaries in Oregon and Kentucky, Sanders addressed a large crowd of his supporters in Louisville, a pattern he has adopted on the campaign trail.
During his speech to constituents, Sanders spoke of the political revolution he has been waging against the political establishment and America’s wealthy class.
“The top 20 people in this country in wealth now own more than the bottom 150 million Americans, half of our population,” Sanders said. He targeted the Walton Family, which owns Walmart, for paying employees low wages. “They pay their workers wages that are so low that the American taxpayer has to pay for food stamps and the Medicaid that many Walmart employees need.”
He said the burden of these taxes rests on America’s middle class — a dwindling population that will likely suffer more taxes under Sanders’ planned $15 trillion tax plan. “Together, we are going to create an economy that works for all of us and not just the one percent. Together we are going to end this absurdity of having national minimum wage of $7.25 cent an hour,” he said touting his plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“It is not a radical idea to say that if in America you work 40 hours a week, you should not live in poverty,” Sanders said, as he pushed for greater education reform. “Fifty years ago if you had a high school degree, you were doing an OK job” and could find work, he said, adding his intention to make public colleges and universities tuition free.
Sanders also took the opportunity to criticize Clinton over her ties to Wall Street and her vote in favor of the Iraq war:
We have shown the world that we can run a campaign without being dependent on powerful and wealthy special interests. Secretary Clinton has chosen to raise her funds in a different way. In addition to that, as some of you may know, Secretary Clinton has given a number of speeches to Wall Street financial institutions for $225,000 a speech. Now, $225,000, that is a lot of money, and I kind of figure that if you give a speech for that kind of money it must be a brilliant, earth shattering speech.
He also attacked Clinton for siding with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. “Secretary Clinton, then the Senator from New York state, she heard the same evidence that I heard. She voted for the war in Iraq.”
There were 83 delegates at stake on the Democratic side on Tuesday night.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz