Sanders Touts Bklyn Roots at NY Primary Kickoff
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sander kicked off his campaign for the April 19 New York primary at a celebratory rally in the Bronx on Thursday night.
Speaking to a racially diverse, young and enthusiastic crowd of almost 10,000 in St. Mary’s Park, Sanders touted his Brooklyn roots and detailed what he called “very real differences” with Hillary Clinton on foreign policy (the Iraq war vote), trade deals and Wall Street regulation.
“I am very proud that I was born here in New York City, and that my wife was born in Brooklyn, New York,” Sanders started his 45-minute-long speech. “My father came to this country at the age of 17, from Poland, without a nickel in his pocket. We lived in a three-and-a-half room rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn. So I learned a little bit about what it means to grow up in a family that has no money, and I also learned a little bit about the immigrant experience.
“Those lessons I will never forget,” he said.“What this campaign is about is creating a political revolution. And the 15,000 people (his campaign said in an email that there were 18,500 people – both are inaccurate) who are here this evening, you are the heart and soul of this revolution.”
The New York primary – with 291 delegates at stake – will possibly determine the Democratic race for president, with Sanders hoping to embarrass Clinton and cause colossal damage to her presidential campaign by winning her home state and the state she represented in the U.S. Senate for eight years. “I say to the 1 percent, I say to Wall Street, I say to the billionaire class, watch out, we are coming after you,” Sanders told the crowd “We have a great chance to win in Wisconsin. Then we are coming back to New York City.”
A poll published on Thursday showed Sanders trailing Clinton by 12 percentage points (54-42).
With the backdrop of a diverse and engaged crowd, and a plan to barnstorm all the five boroughs in the coming weeks, Sanders said winning New York would mean a victory in the general election in the fall. “New York State will be having a very important primary,” he said. “If there is a large voter turnout, we will win. And if we win here in New York, we are going to make it to the White House.”