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The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

Sanders draws record crowd

By Jillian Jennett
Staff Writer

Bernie Sanders giving a speech
(Photo from The Washington Post)

Bernie Sanders, Democratic hopeful for the 2016 presidential race, made headlines drawing the biggest crowds of any candidate in Boston’s history last Saturday. Tens of thousands gathered in the Boston Convention Center to hear his hour-and-a-half speech, in which he touched on topics that would make any college student’s heart sing.

The room erupted into thunderous applause when he took to the podium to speak. The 76-year-old candidate, wearing a white button down and blue blazer, started his speech exactly when he promised he would, something almost unheard of for a politician of this caliber. He spent the first several minutes of his speech thanking those in attendance for their support and spoke to how awed he was to be in a room full of said individuals.

“We are running a people’s campaign and while the millionaires and billionaires have something we don’t have, we have something they don’t have,” said Sanders. “Look around this room!”

Sanders chose to speak on a wide range of topics, fully covering the foundation of what his campaign is built upon. He began his speech with criticisms of his GOP opponents and how their policies would directly harm the U.S. and its citizens. Sanders made specific note of his negative opinion of the Keystone Pipeline and his history of opposition on several policies, once supported by his contemporaries, years before his bid for the election began.

The key points he made note of in his speech ranged from the importance of mental health and the stigma surrounding it as well as the right to accessible healthcare for all. Sanders made direct comparisons to the continued lack of support of LGBTQIA rights issues by his GOP opponents, how he supports said causes, and how the idea of “family values” is faulty in how it is presented by those who do not support health care and rights for all individuals.

“And when we talk about family values,” said Sanders, “we are talking about ending the international embarrassment of the United States of America being the only major country on earth that does not provide paid family and medical leave.”

Sanders closed his speech with a promise to uphold the values that had attracted the crowds in the first place and asked for continued support and excitement throughout the community. As the crowds dissipated, Neil Young’s “‘Rockin’ in the Free World” could be heard bouncing around the convention center walls.

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