Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders met with about 70 people in his Burlington campaign office Wednesday ahead of stops in Keokuk and Ottumwa.
“Obviously, I feel very much at ease and comfortable coming to Burlington. That’s where I live – in Burlington, Vermont and we Burlingtonians have got to stick together,” Sanders said, asking: “Is that right?” as the crowd clapped and cheered.
Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, in 1981. He led the city for eight years, then ran for congress were Sanders has served since 1991. Sanders spoke to the crowd in Burlington, Iowa, for about nine minutes.
“We have a very, very radical idea,” Sanders said, “and that is to create an economy that works for working people, not just billionaires.”
Sanders also touched on his proposals to increase the minimum wage, expand Medicare to include all Americans and tax Wall Street speculators to raise money to cover college costs.
“We do not need bright young people to come out of school deeply in debt,” Sanders says. “We should make public colleges and universities tuition-free.”
Sanders is 74 years old and the oldest candidate in the presidential race, but his supporters and volunteers include a large group of young people. Some in the crowd in Burlington, like 16-year-old high school sophomore Kamryn Ell, aren’t even old enough to vote for him.
“His views overall are just really admirable and what he’s planning for doing for this country,” Ell said. “…Even though I can’t participate, as of now, still supporting and helping him through his campaign.”
Brooklyn Wahlert was visiting Burlington from her home in Anita and was at the Sanders headquarters in Burglington to see, hear and take a picture with Sanders.
“It was just great seeing him. I’ve watched so many videos about him and everything that he stands for is just amazing to me,” Wahlert says.
Sanders said he’s seeing “huge” crowds in Iowa, building “momentum” that he said gives him a “real, real shot” at winning the Iowa Caucuses.
AUDIO of Sanders stop at Burlington, Iowa, campaign office
(Reporting by Rob Sussman, KBUR, Burlington)