CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday brought his White House campaign to the rolling prairies of central Illinois.
“If there is a large voter turnout we will win,” a confident Sanders declared three days ahead of Tuesday’s Democratic Party primary election in Illinois.
About 3,400 supporters stood shoulder-to-shoulder inside a gym at the University of Illinois. Another big crowd, perhaps 2,000 people strong, gathered in an overflow area on the plaza outside the student activities and recreation center.
In remarks to both crowds, Sanders decried the country’s corrupt campaign finance system and rigged economy. “Together, we are going to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent,” he said.
During his rally, Sanders outlined key areas of disagreement with Hillary Clinton.
A proponent of public funding of elections, Sanders has renounced political action committees known as super PACs. They take unlimited campaign contributions which once were outlawed. Super PACs were created in the wake of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in a case called Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. Clinton, for example, helped raise $15 million for one of her super PACs, Priorities USA, from Wall Street sources. Altogether, the committee reported raising $25 million from wealthy special interests in the last half of last year. He’s raised funds instead mostly online from more than 5 million donations averaging less than $30 apiece.
Sanders also touched on foreign policy. He called the 2003 vote to go to war in Iraq “one of the worst foreign policy mistakes in the history of our country.” He voted against the resolution authorizing the invasion. Clinton, then a U.S. senator, voted for the war.
Sanders also talked about why he is in better position than Clinton to defeat Donald Trump in the general election this November.