Biden Draws Thousands to Kansas City Rally

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) — One week after his South Carolina win and campaign turnaround, Joe Biden held a Saturday rally in Kansas City that drew thousands of supporters ahead of Missouri’s primary.

After facing protesters at a campaign stop in St. Louis earlier in the day, the former vice president and Democratic presidential front-runner faced housing protesters in the City of Fountains shouting “Where will I live?” as he began his speech.

“This is not a Trump rally,” Biden said in response. “If you’ll meet with me after this, I’ll explain to you my entire housing plan and you’ll be square.”

Democratic presidential front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the media a day after his Super Tuesday surge where he took the lead in delegates. (Nathan Solis / CNS)

The large turnout, including protesters, is a sharp reversal for the campaign that only a week ago was largely considered endangered. Following his overwhelming victory in South Carolina, several candidates suspended their campaigns to coalesce under Biden’s flag, leading to even larger gains on Super Tuesday.

“Folks, what a difference a week makes!” Biden told the crowd. “With your help, we’re creating a movement powered by the backbone of the Democratic Party.”

The crisp mid-60-degree weather saw thousands of people line up outside the National World War I Museum where Biden held his “Get Out the Vote” rally. In his about 15-minute speech, he was quick to dunk on rival Bernie Sanders who had led the delegate count after the first three state contests.

“Bernie says we’ve got to have turnout to beat Trump. Well, guess what?” Biden said. “We turned them out.”

In addition to addressing health care and promoting the Affordable Care Act, Biden also spoke out against mass shootings and the National Rifle Association.

“We have to stand up and beat the NRA and gun manufacturers again,” he said. “I did it before and I’ll do it again.”

Two recent polls show Biden leading Sanders in Missouri, one of which has Biden up by 22 percentage points over his rival.

Travis Hunt, a Grandview, Missouri resident, said he started as a Pete Buttigieg supporter but decided to back Biden after Buttigieg withdrew from the race.

“I’m a little disappointed obviously, but it’s all about getting Trump out,” Hunt said. “I wanted Mayor Pete, but I’ll take Biden too.”

Kelsey Westgate, of Merriam, Kansas, echoed the sentiment of wanting to remove the current president from office.

“We waited in line for four hours, but it’s worth it,” she said. “I want to show my daughters how a real president is supposed to act.”

Sanders canceled plans to appear in Kansas City on Monday, citing scheduling conflicts. He is still planning to stop in St. Louis on that day. The two will fight over Missouri’s 68 pledged delegates on Tuesday.

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