Bernie Sanders in Phoenix seeking votes for Hillary Clinton

Posted at 2:31 PM, Nov 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-06 19:32:38-05

Sen. Bernie Sanders traveled to Phoenix Sunday to urge working families to vote for Hillary Clinton in this battleground state.  

About 1,000 people attended the rally in the gym of Phoenix's Central High School.

"The job of the next president the United States is to bring us together, not to divide us up, Sanders told the cheering crowd. "We should be extraordinarily proud of our diversity."

Sanders urged the crowd to turnout Tuesday to defeat Donald Trump, saying, "This is a candidate who referred to our Mexican brothers and sisters as criminals and rapists."

Sanders, a Vermont Independent, originally challenged Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. In recent weeks, he has campaigned on her behalf — including two stops in Arizona.

"Unemployment is lower; wages are higher," Sanders said. "Yes, we are better off today than we were eight years ago."

The populist senator said Clinton would best protect working class families. He touted Clinton's free college, health care, and clean energy plans. When discussing how to pay for it, Sanders offered "bad news" directly to Donald Trump.   

"You and your billionaire friends are going to start paying their fair share of taxes," Sanders said.

During the 50-minute speech, the senator made a brief mention of local elections and the Bazta Arpaio movement. He said, "We need criminal justice reform all over the country, and it may as well start with Mr. Arpaio."

Sanders made no reference to the Clinton email scandal Sunday. His speech occurred at nearly the same time as FBI Director James Comey announced there would be no criminal charges in the reopened case.

Trump supporters in Arizona said they are confident he will pick up the state's 11 electoral votes 

"Bernie Sanders is spending the final hours of this campaign trying to manufacture enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton, but Arizonans aren't buying it," Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said. "Voters here have heard Donald Trump’s message, and are ready for change."