U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was in Michigan on Sunday to throw his weight behind Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed.
Speaking at the Cobo Center in Detroit—the first of two rallies for the pair—Sanders praised the doctor's "very bold and progressive ideas," and said, "the ideas Abdul talks about are not fringe ideas, they are mainstream American ideas."
"I am here today with Abdul because working families in Vermont and Michigan and all over this country are sick and tired of a rigged economy in which the very rich get much richer while the middle class continues to shrink," Sanders said to a crowd of an estimated 1,400.
It looks like Michigan is ready to make history this Tuesday by voting for @AbdulElSayed to be its next Governor. Let's do everything we can in the next few days to create a historic victory! https://t.co/4OPRXMtHk4 pic.twitter.com/1sn15Xozdi— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 5, 2018
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Brushing off polling numbers showing Sayed, a former executive director of the Detroit Health Department, trailing behind opponents Shri Thanedar and Gretchen Whitmer, Sanders reminded the audience how polls showed him faring in the state in the 2016 presidential primaries. The day before those primaries, "the polls had me 27 points behind," Sanders said. "That was pretty good, because the poll the day before had me 36 points behind. Well, we won that election. And by the way, so will Abdul," Sanders said.
El-Sayed, for his part, asked the crowd why we are "allowing CEOs and big corporations to take home $13 million a year while 600,000 of our sisters and brothers still don't have access to healthcare," and pointed to the need for a state-level Medicare for all healthcare system, one of his campaign issues.
The primary is Aug. 7. If he wins the general election in November, El-Sayed would be the nation's first Muslim governor.