MADISON — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, making his first trip to Wisconsin as part of his 2020 campaign, slammed President Trump for being “a pathological liar” and “the most dangerous president in modern American history.”
The Vermont Independent took the stage at downtown Madison’s James Madison Park in blustery 39-degree conditions with an 18-mile-per-hour wind blowing at his back. He thanked the estimated 2,400 supporters for coming out on what he called “a warm, sunny, beautiful afternoon.”
Sanders’ message of social, racial, environmental and economic justice underlined much of his hourlong speech in his return to Wisconsin, where he won all but one of the state’s 72 counties in the 2016 Dem presidential primary. He promised to finish the so-called “political revolution” that began during his last bid by sweeping the Midwest.
“We’re going to win here in Wisconsin, we’re going to win in Indiana, we’re going to win in Ohio, we’re going to win in Michigan and we’re gonna win in Pennsylvania,” he said.
While Sanders handedly beat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin’s primary three years ago, Trump managed to flip the state, Michigan and Pennsylvania to the R column in the general election.
Sanders draw comparisons between himself and the president on a number of key policy issues.
“Under Trump, 7 million people have already lost health insurance and, even more frighteningly, he supported throwing 32 million Americans off the health care they have by trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” he said, before going to pledge to pass a “Medicare For All,” single-payer system.
Sanders also railed against Trump’s economic policies, targeting the recently passed GOP tax law, which he said “increased bank profits by nearly $29 billion.”
“Standing up for working families does not include deregulating the same Wall Street banks that caused the economy to crash 10 years ago,” he said.
He hit familiar notes criticizing the country’s political system, which he labeled as a “corrupt system which allows billionaires to buy elections.” Sanders pledged to end “racist voter suppression,” move to public funding of elections and overturn Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that prohibited the government from preventing unions and corporations from spending money to support or oppose candidates in campaigns.
From there, Sanders proceeded to work through a number of policy items, including: raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour; providing a universal pre-K program; making public colleges and universities tuition-free; lowering what he labeled as the “outrageous” level of student debt; expanding Social Security; transforming energy system to combat global warming; reforming the criminal justice and immigration systems; and protecting “a woman’s right to control her own body.”
Sanders will next attend events in Indiana and Michigan tomorrow, before wrapping up his Midwest tour with stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania on Sunday and Monday, according to his campaign.