Bernie Sanders visits Hampton Roads for rally

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Arriana McLymore | Editor-in-chief

NORFOLK, Virginia- On February 23, Virginia residents from filled the Scope in Norfolk, Virginia to hear presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speak. Sanders hosted the rally to gain supporters in Virginia. He currently trails Hillary Clinton in the latest poll from Christopher Newport University.

“It is important that we discuss the truth,” Sanders said in the opening of his speech. Some of the main points in Sanders’ speech were immigration laws, wage equality for women, student loan debt, equality for African Americans, and taxes for corporate businesses.

“If you know anything about American history, you know that change- real change- does not come from the top down,” Sanders said.

Sanders expressed concern for the future of the American worker, noting how many jobs in the U.S. are being outsourced  to other countries. “Sliver of our population now owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent,” Sanders said. “If I’m elected president, not only are we going to talk about it, we’re going to do something about it.”

This message resonated with Hampton University student Rashad Williams who attended Tuesday’s rally. Williams is a junior, strategic communications major and also serves as the junior class president. “He made a point about change starting from the bottom up. This idea is representative of the corporation-free, grassroots campaign that he is running,” Williams said. “It’s just so important that we don’t leave it to ‘the usuals’ to be the only voters active in these elections.”

“I don’t have million- dollar donors,” Sanders said to the crowd about his campaign. Sanders also pushed a message about equality in the U.S.

“Homophobia is not what this country is about. Sexism is not what this country is about,” Sanders said.

Although many admired Sanders’ message during the rally, it did not change the views of others. Michael McGee, a junior, political science major at Hampton University also attended Sanders’ rally. “It was interesting to see how much support Sanders had, but I went into the rally a Clinton supporter and leaving the rally, I was still a Clinton supporter.”

McGee continued on to say, “As someone who watches every Democratic debate, I heard everything he said many times before yesterday so there was nothing that grabbed my attention or made me reconsider who I support.”

Other presidential hopefuls will be visiting the Hampton Roads area in upcoming days. Wednesday, Donald Trump held his rally at Regent University. Senator Ted Cruz will continue his campaign on Friday, February 26 at Regent University for the school’s Presidential Candidate Forum. Monday, February 29, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson will speak at Regent University.

The candidates will be visiting Virginia just in time for the Tuesday, March 1 primary.


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