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Bernie Sanders Fires Up Crowd At Chicago State University

By aaroncynic in News on Feb 26, 2016 5:53PM

Democratic presidential nominee contender Bernie Sanders brought his firey rhetoric against big banks, big corporate donors, Wall Street and other familiar targets to a near capacity crowd at Chicago State University.

Thousands lined up to hear the Vermont senator speak hours before he took the stage at the 7,000 seat Jones Convocation Center, and by the time he walked out from behind the curtain to the podium, the rock-concert like atmosphere, complete with people dancing in the stands and a wave, reached a fever pitch.

Sanders opened his 45-minute speech by giving a nod to the current funding crisis at Chicago State, which has cancelled its spring break, opted to end the semester early and could close entirely:

“I come here and I find out that this great university is also being threatened by cuts. What is going on in America? Where are our priorities?”

Sticking to his familiar populist talking points about income inequality, campaign finance reform, free college tuition, climate change and police reform, the Vermont Senator said his ideas were “not radical.”

“The real momentum we have here is that people are sick and tired of establishment politics and they’re tired of the same old same old. Our campaign has been doing something really radical—we’re telling the American people the truth,” said Sanders.

The Sanders camp knows it has an uphill battle in Illinois, which many consider ‘home turf’ for Hillary Clinton, who was born in Chicago and raised in the suburbs. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s superdelegate status within the Democratic party and Clinton's strong ties to President Barack Obama add to this sentiment. While introducing Sanders, former mayoral candidate Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia told the crowd that Illinois would “feel the Bern” and reminded them early voting begins Monday the 29th.

“I suspect that after tonight, they'll be saying that well, ‘Illinois was supposed to be Hillary's house because she hails from here.' In fact, Illinois and the surrounding states are our homes and our houses, and we take care of our houses and our homes.”

Seeking to highlight the differences between he and Clinton, Sanders spoke on several pieces of legislation during Bill Clinton’s term in the White House, including NAFTA, CAFTA, the Defense of Marriage Act, and Welfare Reform Bill, as well as Hillary’s support of the Iraq war in 2003.

Sanders also took a slight dig at Republican Presidential front runner, allying him with the big banks, billionaires and corporate interests his campaign is trying to take on.

“The world we live in is a world in which a small number of people—people on Wall Street, corporate America, large campaign donors —have enormous power. They have an endless supply of money. The only way we defeat them is when we do not allow the Trumps of the world to divide us up... If we do not allow them to divide us up there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”