RENO, Nevada — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) attacked billionaire oligarch Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, directly in an address at the University of Reno, Nevada on Tuesday morning.
Sanders took direct aim at Bloomberg, saying that “we have a corrupt political system which allows billionaires to buy elections.” The crowd booed.
“People who have enormous amounts of money can make incredible contributions. They can contribute hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process to elect candidates who represent the rich and the powerful,” he continued.
“And in [some] cases, they can even run for office themselves!”
He continued: “Anybody here worth 60 billion dollars? You can run for president, and you can buy the airwaves.” The crowd booed again.
“My friends, that is called oligarchy, not democracy.”
Bloomberg is currently running second or third behind Sanders in the latest national polls, and will appear with Sanders onstage at the Democrat debate on Wednesday evening in Las Vegas.
Sanders spoke to roughly 200 people in a hall on campus. Supporters came from the local community and from neighboring states.
Becca, from Nevada City, California, told Breitbart News that she supports Sanders because of “consistency over time, seeing someone who has a vision and following it over time.”
“Integrity,” chimed in her friend, Bethany, also from Nevada City.
A local Sanders precinct captain, Laurel, confided that she would vote for Bernie but would also consider alternatives.
She was nervous, she said, about whether Sanders could win the general election.
“We need to get ’45; and fascism out of the White House,” she said.
“I’m a former philosophy instructor, so truth is important to me,” she explained, adding that the country needed an alternative to what she saw as Trump’s climate of “fear” and “ignorance.”
Asked whom she might be considering as an alternative, she said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
“She has a lot of the same positive energy, but would actually speak to the middle in ways [Sanders] will not,” she said.
Part of problem, Laurel said, was the “socialism piece — even just calling himself that.”
Her 9-year-old son, however, who was attending his first political event, had no doubt that Sanders was the strongest Democratic candidate to defeat Trump.
After his speech, Sanders led supporters on a march to a polling place at the university’s student union, where the last day of early voting was being held.Joel B. Pollak
The actual caucuses will be held at noon on Saturday, Feb. 22
The debate will be held at the Paris Theater in Las Vegas at 6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET, and will be hosted by MSNBC.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.