MANCHESTER, N.H. — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders urged his supporters to forget about what the “establishment” tells them to think about elections and the “way things have to be” in society, the economy and politics.
“What we are doing is asking people to think big,” said the U.S. senator from Vermont at a small but packed downtown theater called The Palace on Monday, the day before the New Hampshire primary. “If we can stand together, we can bring change.”
Sanders hit the high points of his typical stump speech: Wall Street, corporate welfare, a “rigged economy,” a “corrupt campaign finance system,” the need for a $15 per hour minimum wage and the reduced earning power of the average family.
Sanders said he hears Republicans decry welfare recipients and told the crowd: “Do you know who is the major welfare recipient in America? It is the wealthiest family in America, the Walton family that owns Wal-Mart.”
He said Wal-Mart pays its workers so low, its employees must rely on government subsidies to get by.
“I say the wealthiest family in America might want to get off welfare and pay their workers a living wage,” Sanders said.
The biggest cheers, though, came when Sanders targeted Wall Street and big banks. He said Wall Street was expanded in the last few decades on “a business model that was essentially” fraud.
Sanders said his campaign was generating excitement not seen in other campaigns — an indirect shot at Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. His campaign, he maintained, was “bringing in people who have never been involved before.”
“What this campaign is about is getting people to think outside the status quo,” Sanders said.