NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Eager to make a comeback after a narrow defeat in Nevada, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders hoped to rally support in Hampton Roads.
The Democratic Party presidential candidate held a campaign rally at Scope Arena ahead of next Tuesday’s Virginia Presidential Primary.
The applause for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I) Vermont was at times deafening. 5-6,000 attending chanted “Feel the Burn” and “Burn it Up.”
His populist message could be deeply rooted in his past. Sanders’ father came from Poland, and couldn’t speak English. The Senator grew up in a rent controlled building in Brooklyn, so it’s no surprise he is anti-Wall Street, anti-rich at least as far as taxes go.
“These guys have endless amounts of money to do what they want to do,” Sanders told the crowd. One guy yelled, “They don’t have you.” Sanders yelled back, “They don’t have me, and they will never have me.”
Sanders passionately addressed a wide range of issues today, including getting big money out of politics, unemployment, combating criminal justice and making college more affordable in Tuesday’s rally.
Sanders also addressed issues of gender and racial inequality in Norfolk.
“We are at a moment in American history where we have got to learn from our past,” he said. “And we have got to be pushing forward in a way that makes some people very, very uncomfortable.”
Sanders spoke out against the family that owns Walmart, whose workers Sanders claimed are not making livable wages, “I say to the Walton family. The richest family in American. Get off welfare and start paying your workers a livable wage.”
A living wage that Sanders says would be boosted by raising the federal minimum wage, “That means we understand $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage, and that means we are going to raise the minimum living wage to $15 bucks an hour.”
Sanders spoke how his revolution is born out of the philosophy that real change never comes from the top down, but from the bottom up. He drew contrast to his opponent Hillary Clinton, then defended her against the boos by putting up his hand to silence them, “Nope. Nope. No. We are not going to do that. I respect Secretary Clinton. We can have differences on issues.” The Bernie supporters then started applauding.
Grass roots is Bernie Sanders and the grass roots at Scope on Tuesday were “burning it up” for Bernie, “We have received over 4 million individual campaign contributions. 4 million from working people, middle class people, people trying to make it on social security.”
A total of 110 delegates will be up for grabs next Tuesday. A recent poll conducted by Christopher Newport University had Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton 12 percentage points ahead of Sanders among voters.
Doors opened at 9:30 a.m., however, supporters for Sanders began lining up outside of Scope Arena shortly before 7 a.m.
One supporter, Joey Trask, told 10 On Your Side he believes Sanders “really gets it.”
“That’s something not a lot of other candidates seem to capture. They don’t seem to represent the voice of the people.”