Nearly 11,500 people gathered inside the Colorado Convention Center in Denver Sunday night to hear Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders make the case for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, a $15 federal minimum wage, and systemic reforms to end "a corrupt political system in which billionaires buy elections."
"At the end of the day, the top 1% may have enormous wealth and power, but they are just the 1%. When the 99% stand together, we can transform society."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
"We don't go to billionaires' homes to raise money. We don't have a super PAC," Sanders told the massive crowd. "This is a campaign by the working class, of the working class, and for the working class."
Sanders' Denver rally was the largest any presidential candidate has held in Colorado in the 2020 election cycle so far, according to the Vermont senator's campaign.
"Our campaign has grassroots support across Colorado, we are doing the hard work of organizing to ensure we win here on Super Tuesday," Pilar Chapa, Sanders' Colorado state director, said in a statement, referring to the March 3 primary.
"Our supporters and our volunteers are going to use the momentum from tonight to expand the electorate," added Chapa, "and bring more people than ever into the political process."
— Allie Raffa (@AllieRaffa) February 17, 2020
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During his 30-minute speech, Sanders took aim at President Donald Trump—"a pathological liar who is running a corrupt administration"—as well as billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg, a latecomer to the 2020 Democratic presidential race who has spent $350 million on advertising in an effort to compete in Super Tuesday states like Colorado.
"Democracy to me means one person, one vote," Sanders said. "Not Bloomberg or anybody else spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy an election. And that is why we are going to overturn this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and why we are going to move toward public funding of elections."
"We are going to end a corrupt political system in which billionaires buy elections. Democracy to me means one person, one vote. Not Bloomberg or anybody else spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy an election." https://t.co/XAkorVR2GV pic.twitter.com/Wg3IGkzsc3
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) February 17, 2020
According to Denver Post reporter Alex Burness, "perhaps the loudest cheers of the night" came after Sanders remarked, "The Democratic establishment is getting a little nervous."
Kelly Canfield, a 57-year-old business analyst from Denver who attended the rally Sunday, told Burness he is heartened that Sanders' progressive agenda has gone mainstream despite continued efforts to paint the senator's candidacy and policy proposals as fringe.
"It's about time," Canfield said. "None of it is radical. To me, if the Democratic Party picks Bernie, it's more like going home, to FDR, instead of running to the right like they have been. This is as American as apple pie."