With the Ohio River as a backdrop, Democratic presidential hopeful and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders told a crowd in Louisville on Tuesday night that they don’t need to worry about Donald Trump.
“All over this country, there is fear that Donald Trump will be elected president,” he said. “I am here to tell you that won’t happen.”
“The American people will not elect a candidate who insults every group you can think of ...,” he said. “The American people understand that our strength is in our diversity.”
What Americans should be concerned about, Sanders said, is that “the middle class has to subsidize employees of the wealthiest” citizens, including Wal-Mart’s Walton family.
Sanders said social issues such as a $15 minimum wage, universally available health care and making public universities tuition-free are among the items at the top of his to-do list.
“A great nation is not judged by the number of millionaires or nuclear weapons that it has,” he said. “A great nation is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable among us.”
Sanders talked of “Medicare for all” and expanding Social Security benefits.
He said America needed to begin “demilitarizing local police departments” and making them “reflect the diversity of the people they serve.”
And he said that if Congress would not act on immigration reform, he would use his executive power as president to move more people on “a path toward citizenship.”
Sanders said what is most needed is “a political revolution” and “a government that represents all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.”
Sanders will be in Lexington for a rally at Heritage Hall on Wednesday. The event is free. Gates open at 4 p.m.; RSVPs, which can be made at Go.berniesanders.com/page/event/detail/rally/gpgdmp, are strongly encouraged.
Charles Meredith brought his 9-year-old son, Matt, to hear Sanders speak.
“I like that he voted against the Iraq war,” Meredit said. “I’m against corporate welfare, and mainly I’m a peace activist.”
Akilah Ruiz said she was “a big fan of his passion.”
“I feel like he genuinely represents the things I’ve been wanting out of a presidential candidate,” she said.
Dave and Ellen Suetholz said they have been big Sanders fans for years — so much so that they made a point of stopping by his office in Burlington, Vt., while they were on their honeymoon five years ago. Though Sanders was out at the time, they later ran into him at a coffee shop and introduced themselves.
“He’s just very personable,” Ellen Suetholz said.
Dave Suetholz said he appreciated Sanders’ outspokenness in opposing cuts to Social Security.
“He’s a man of the people,” he said, adding that for 40 years, Sanders has fought against “inequality in all its forms.”
“That means a lot to us,” he said.