Sen. Bernie Sanders Addresses Healthcare, Criminal Justice Reform And Climate Change During Norman Rally
Many democrats in Oklahoma are still "feeling the Bern" after Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders' rally in the Sooner State Sunday.
“I think I’m going to be saying a few things here in Oklahoma that you don’t usually hear in Oklahoma,” Sanders told the crowd. “But, maybe it’s time you did hear it in Oklahoma.”
His campaign team said, more than 4,000 people were on hand down in Norman. That’s more than half the crowd that showed up for the Vermont Senator in 2016 in downtown Oklahoma City.
Sanders won the state’s 2016 democratic primary by 10 percent over eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.
Sunday, Sanders hit on many familiar topics from healthcare, criminal justice reform and income and wealth inequality to climate change.
“I do know I’m in Oklahoma,” Sanders told the crowd. “But, we’ve got to deal with this issue. And that is we have a president who believes climate change is a hoax. Well, I happen to believe Donald Trump is a hoax.”
Sanders didn’t shy away from attacking the president.
“We got a president, and I say this with no joy in my heart, a president who is a racist, and a sexist, and a xenophobe, and a homophobe, and a religious bigot. That’s what he is,” Sanders said.
Ahead of the event, the Republican National Committee send out a statement saying, “Bernie Sanders is a self-avowed socialist campaigning on a platform that would completely decimate the energy industry. Sanders’ proposals would eliminate all fossil fuels and nationalize energy production, causing energy prices to skyrocket for Oklahoma families and businesses. Meanwhile, President Trump continues to fight for energy independence and our robust economy.”
Sanders told the crowd he is perhaps the most pro-worker member of the United States Congress and he will work to protect jobs that could be lost due to his plan to combat climate change.
“I am not against the workers in the oil industry or in the coal industry or the gas industry,” Sanders said. “I am against and will combat climate change.”
Sanders outlined what he called “a very expensive plan” dedicating hundreds of billions of dollars to protect workers in the fossil fuel industry.
“I’m talking about the most generous protections ever offered. We are talking about five years of salary. We are talking about healthcare, we are talking about job training,” Sanders said. “So I want to say to those workers, we understand that you’re working hard to put food on the table for your families. You are not our enemy. But together we must come to grips with the global crisis of climate change.”
After leaving Norman, Sanders attended the Comanche Nation Fair powwow in Lawton.
The Oklahoma primary for both Democrats and Republicans is on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020.