Thousands of cheering and chanting Coloradans – one of the biggest crowds for any presidential candidate so far this campaign – showed up here on Saturday night to hear Bernie Sanders tell them they were sending a message to the billionaire class that “You can’t have it all. This is our country too.”
“This is an extraordinary turnout,” Bernie said as he surveyed the crowd after climbing onto the Hamilton Gymnasium stage at the University of Denver. Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” played (with the singer/songwriter manager’s approval) as Sanders was introduced to the standing-room-only crowd that spilled into an atrium and a nearby lacrosse field outside.
By the university’s count, 5,500 people were in the gym, atrium and lacrosse field to see Bernie, the candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and a U.S. senator from Vermont.
When the crowd chanted his name, Bernie stopped them. “This campaign is not about me,” he said. “It is not about Hillary Clinton or any other candidate,” he added. “This campaign is about you, your kids and your parents. It is about creating a political movement of millions of people who stand up and loudly proclaim that this nation belongs to all of us and not just a handful of billionaires.”
Bernie’s speech was a fact-filled recitation of why Americans today are working longer hours for lower wages and what he would do change that.
He laid out an issue-packed agenda for how to reverse the 40-year decline of the American middle class and narrow the wealth and income gap in the United States that is greater today than at any time since before the Great Depression.
Bernie has proposed putting 13 million Americans to work with a $1 trillion investment in rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges, providing tuition-free higher education at public colleges and universities, expanding child care to help working families, providing a Medicare-for-all single payer health care system to improve care and cuts costs, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, stopping the abuse of overtime rules that let corporations keep payrolls low, insuring pay equity for women and other initiatives.