WASHINGTON – More than 12,500 Montanans came out to see Bernie Sanders and Rob Quist at rallies in Missoula, Butte, Billings and Bozeman Saturday and Sunday ahead of Thursday’s special election.
“Rob Quist is running a great grassroots campaign and it was a real joy to campaign with him over the weekend. He is standing up for working families in Montana and is fighting to create an economy and a government that works for all of us, and not just the billionaire class. If there is a large voter turnout on Thursday, Rob is going to pull off a major upset and win this election. Let’s do everything we can to bring out that vote,” said Sanders.
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The question is whether Quist and his supporters can take advantage of discontent with Republican healthcare reform as well as Trump’s falling approval ratings. If they can, there could yet be an upset in Big Sky Country.
The Daily Beast: Rob Quist’s Weekend with Bernie Sanders
He and Sanders both championed this campaign as a people-built machine; a populist small-donor driven effort to shake up Washington, D.C., in the era of Donald Trump. And they made Quist’s opponent, Greg Gianforte, an effective foil, highlighting his multimillionaire status and his on-again, off-again support for AHCA.
KULR 8: Sanders: Quist will change status quo in D.C.
“Bottom line is that we cannot continue having a Congress that is funded by millionaires and billionaires and which every single day is doing the bidding of the wealthiest people in this country,” Sanders said to loud applause.
Missoulian: Bernie Sanders campaigns for Quist in Missoula: ‘Now is the time to fight back’
Sanders, who campaigned in Missoula and won Montana’s Democratic presidential primary here, addressed a crowd of roughly 4,000 people at the Adams Center… Sanders said Quist would bring a “different moral compass” to the U.S. Congress.
AP: Bernie Sanders Rallies Montana Voters to Support Rob Quist
Sanders challenged Montana voters to show that a rural state with a small population can take on the big money interests that he said are trying to buy the election… Sanders and Quist both decried efforts by Republicans to repeal and replace President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act, saying the American Health Care Act is a tax break for the rich.
KPAX: Bernie Sanders campaigns for Rob Quist in special election
Public lands and health care were the two points Quist emphasized while speaking to a crowd of around 4,000 people Saturday at the Adams Center. Part of his message was to assure voters of his stance on women’s reproductive rights.
Montana Standard: Health care costs top Bernie Sanders-Rob Quist campaign rally in Butte
The cost of health care was the main focus of the event from the start, leading off with two locals discussing their personal experiences with near-devastating medical bills. Stuart McCarvel of Butte told the crowd of about 2,700 that his son was diagnosed with leukemia at the end of his college years and went through aggressive treatment that saved his life. Without the Affordable Care Act, his son would have hit a lifetime cap on health care claims, he said. “If the disastrous bill Congress just passed and Greg Gianforte supports becomes law, my son will not be able to afford his medications,” McCarvel said.
Great Falls Tribune: Sanders aids Quist in run for House
The Vermont Independent, who won Montana as a presidential candidate over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary in June, rallied nearly 3,000 people at the Butte Civic Center. “The bottom line is the status quo in Washington is not working and it has not been not working for decades,” Sanders said. “We need change and we need real change. Rob Quist will stand up for real change.”
Montana Standard: Variety of folks characterize rally crowd; no protesters seen
A healthy mix of seniors, middle-aged folks and Millennials like the Roders turned out, standing or sitting hodge-podge in chairs on the Civic Center concrete floor… “It’s great to see Bernie in Montana because it seems that Greg Gianforte is buying the election,” said Andrew Hoffman, 30, of Helena … “I think there is a lot of energy in this election,” said Hoffman. “A lot of my friends are going to vote – and a lot of them for the first time.”
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Health care was a large theme of the rally, with a cancer survivor speaking before Quist and Sanders took the stage. Quist is a supporter of the Affordable Care Act and has campaigned on supporting access to women’s health care, while GIanforte has faced questions on his position on the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
MTN News: Senator Bernie Sanders is making several appearances this weekend in Montana
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), “You want to hear a crazy radical idea that Rob has? This is really a radical idea. We should have a government that represents all of us, not just the billionaire class.” Sanders and Quist pushed the notion that Montana is being taken over by the wealthy. Quist claimed his Republic opponent, Greg Gianforte would change Montana’s inclusive way of life.
ABC Fox Montana: Quist, Sanders emphasize healthcare, election by the people, for the people
Both men spoke on the importance of health care for all. Rob Quist emphasized Montana values and he could not be bought by Washington. Northern Cheyenne Nation tribal members introduced Quist and officially endorsed him.
KTVQ: Sen. Bernie Sanders rallies in Billings with House candidate Quist
After stops in Butte and Missoula, more than 1,000 people turned out at the MetraPark Expo Center in Billings on Saturday night. Quist and Sanders touched on a number of subjects ranging from land access to healthcare with Senator Sanders pleading for support to challenge Washington’s agenda.
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“The election on Thursday is not only of extraordinary importance to the people of Montana,” Sanders said. “You know how the whole country is looking at this election. What I want to tell you, having just flown in from Washington yesterday, you guys are making the Republicans very nervous.”
KULR: Over 1,000 people attend Sanders, Quist rally
Hundreds of people lined up outside the Expo Center at MetraPark. One person in front of the line said he stood in line for more than two hours. The number of people who attended Saturday’s rallies were high. About 4,500 in Missoula, 3,000 in Butte, and more than 1,000 here in Billings.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle: ‘A fight for the soul of Montana’: Bernie Sanders rallies Bozeman crowd in support of Quist
“And he’s walked the walk. He understands the pain of getting a big medical bill in the mail.” Quist’s man-of-the-people appeal is important to those who are tired of the excessive money and special interests involved in politics, added Roger Fischer, 38. “Hopefully this election will show you don’t need to be a millionaire to be in the U.S. House,” Fischer said.