DALLAS (CN) – Trailing Hillary Clinton into the pivotal Super Tuesday primaries, Bernie Sanders rallied a raucous crowd of 7,000 near Dallas on Saturday by attacking wealthy Wall Street campaign donors.
The over-capacity crowd at the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie patiently waited over three hours for Sanders to speak, enthusiastically chanting his name and shouting slogans including “This is democracy,” and “They got bail outs, we got sold out.” The crowd largely consisted of young people and young families, holding homemade signs saying “Feel the Bern” and “Texas Loves Bernie.”
Sen. Sanders, I-Vermont, told the crowd he thinks “there is a surprise coming on Tuesday.”
“It looks like Dallas is ready for a political revolution,” Sanders said as the crowd roared its approval. “Let me tell you, so are a lot of people all across our great country.”
Brian Crandall, of Fort Worth, brought his wife and young son to hear Sanders speak.
“I saw him speak in Dallas last year and his honesty and directness really spoke to me,” he said. “Bernie is the only politician who seems to genuinely care about people and have empathy for those that are struggling. That’s why he has my support.”
Sanders declared his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination last year to little fanfare, yet he has quickly built a grassroots effort that went neck-and-neck with Clinton in the Iowa caucuses.
Sanders said his campaign was about “thinking big, not small,” that his campaign was about “revitalizing American democracy.”
“Democracy is not a football game, not a spectator sport,” he said. “All of you are enormously powerful people if you choose to use your power.”
Sanders touted his plan to publicly finance all elections in order to get Wall Street out of politics. He said the current campaign finance system is “corrupt,” where “we have billionaires trying to buy elections.”
“If you do not have the guts to hold a free and fair election, get another job,” Sanders said. “Washington and Congress are much more interested in representing wealthy campaign contributors than the needs of ordinary Americans. We need to turn that around where the needs and pain of the American people are heard, that’s what this campaign is precisely about.”
Sanders denounced the U.S. Supreme Court’s “disastrous” ruling in Citizens United v. FEC in 2007, which allows unlimited election spending by individuals and corporations. He also attacked Clinton for being paid for giving speeches to wealth Wall Street banks, challenging her to release transcripts of the speeches.
“They must have been great speeches,” he said. “You must want to share them with the American people.”
Sanders was introduced by populist columnist and former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower, who denounced the “frackers, bankers and bullshitters” of the establishment.
“Let’s take the power back from the Wall Street greedheads and the Washington boneheads,” he said.
- Clinton Cruises to Landslide|Victory in South Carolina Primary
- California Dems Give Nod to Harris for U.S. Senate