MANASSAS, Va. — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gave his usual brim and firestone remarks about income inequality, free school tuition, single-payer health care and $15 per hour minimum wages to a boisterous 2,000-person crowd at an evening rally that followed his remarks at Liberty University in Lynchburg earlier in the day.
“It is not utopian or pie in the sky that every man woman and child can have health care as a right. It is not utopian to say that every American, regardless of income will be able to get a college education. It is not utopian to say that we can’t lead the world in combating climate change,” Sanders says to the attendees, many of whom wore Sanders campaign T-shirts with the words “political revolution 2016” on the back.
“It is not utopian to say that our mothers and our fathers, our senior citizens can live out the remaining years of their lives with dignity because we are going to expand Social Security, not cut it,” he continued. “It is not utopian to say that the wealthiest people in this country and large profitable corporations in this country will start paying their fair share in taxes.”
Sanders’ poll numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire surpassed national Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton recently, and Sanders supporters believe Clinton is too enmeshed with the political establishment in Washington, as well as too out of touch with the average American who may be struggling to make ends meet.
“He’s a fresh face and a fresh voice that speaks to the people and not just to the corporations and not the almighty dollar,” one woman by the name of Joanne who drove from Fredericksburg, Md. told The Daily Caller. “I think [Clinton] is so ingrained into the establishment and corporate thinking that, at this point, she doesn’t seem to be able to relate to the every day people.”
Noelle Marshall of Laytonsville, Md. agreed. “She’s part of the establishment. She hired a Monsanto person to be the head of her campaign. That tells me the corporations on her,” she said.
“Bernie is funded by the people. I contribute to him every month it’s not much but that’s where his contributions come from — the people. He’s transparent he’s authentic. And Hilary is just part of the game. She’s very wealthy and I don’t have any idea why she’s playing a game,” Marshall said.
Northern Virginia resident Justin Streckel said Sanders’ views align with his more than Clinton’s do, and that the Vermont Democratic socialist has remained consistent over the the years, unlike his opponents.
“I have been an admirer of the senator for a long long time. I think in good ways and in bad ways he’s been right about things for a long time. And he’s incredibly consistent with his messaging and with the things that he’s fought for.”