Bernie Sanders (file photo)

Bernie Sanders (file photo)

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders met with President Obama at the White House Wednesday, then flew to northern Iowa for a campaign rally in Mason City.

“My opponent is not in Iowa tonight. She is raising money from a Philadelphia investment firm,” Sanders told the crowd and he waits for the crowd’s boos of Hillary Clinton to die down before adding: “Frankly, I would rather be here with you.”

Sanders has made campaign finance reform a cornerstone of his campaign. Last night, Sanders emphasized his call for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and targeted Walmart for paying wages so low, workers qualify for government welfare programs.

“The reason that the workers at Walmart are on Medicaid, food stamps and subsidized housing is because the Walton family refuses to pay their workers a living wage,” Sanders said.

And Sanderd argues taxpayers are making up the difference when Walmart wages are low. This fall Walmart executives announced wages will go up to $10 an hour next year.

Actress Susan Sarandon joined Sanders at last night’s event at Music Man Square in Mason City, speaking to more than 800 people. Former President Bill Clinton was in Mason City at about the same time. He made a pitch for his wife’s candidacy to more than 300 people.

(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KGLO, Mason City)