SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CN) – Sen. Bernie Sanders rolled into Utah on Monday with gusto similar to that of the winter storm that gripped the Wasatch Front over the weekend, drawing thousands to the state capital’s fairgrounds.
“I have heard that Utah is a conservative state,” the Vermont senator said to a fervent throng, many of whom arrived two hours prior to the midday event.
“Whether you are conservative or you are progressive, whether you are Republican, independent or Democrat, you understand that the United States cannot continue having somebody as president that is a pathological liar.”
The most thunderous applause came as Sanders touted legalizing marijuana nationwide, expanding support for Planned Parenthood, and proclaimed of his campaign: “We believe in science.”
Sanders was flanked by U.S. and Utah flags on the outdoor stage, a four-tiered row of supporters behind him.
“Bernie” placards sailed through the air like fresh powder at Snowbird Ski Resort.
“I’m asking you not only to come out and vote, but to bring your friends, your neighbors, your parents, your kids, your co-workers. The whole shebang. Bring them all out,” Sanders said near the close of his almost 40-minute speech. “Let us have the highest voter turnout in the history of the Utah primary.”
The O’Jays’ “Give the People What They Want,” and “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps, rang out across the snow-blanketed, matted grass after Sanders exited the stage.
Also on Monday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar rallied Utahans a mere mile from the Utah State Fairpark in the early morning. But she announced she would end her 2020 White House bid just before Sanders took the stage.
Sanders did not comment on Klobuchar, nor her endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden, during the event.
On a nearby train platform bound for Ogden, 40 miles to the north, Kiera Ball said Sanders was “the right candidate for the right time.”
Salt Laker Bill Sadler, who attended both rallies, wasn’t sold on Sanders’ plans.
“He can’t pay for what he says he’s going to do,” Sadler said.
Breanna Kirkbride was more enthusiastic, citing the 78-year-old candidate’s stances on Medicare and workers’ rights.
With Sanders as the Democratic nominee, Kirkbride said, “Utah could turn blue in the general election.”