Bernie Sanders speaks at rally in Phoenix

Posted at 9:10 PM, Mar 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-12 00:41:17-04

Hundreds of people showed up to the Orpheum Theatre to hear Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) speak in the heart of downtown Phoenix Sunday.

Before jumping into policy, the former presidential hopeful had some heartfelt words for Arizona's Senior Senator, John McCain (R). 

"John is a man of dignity, of courage, and of decency and I know I speak for all of you in wishing him the best of luck in his struggle against this illness and I hope he comes back to Washington," Sanders said.

Sanders touched on a wide-range of issues; calling for universal healthcare and pushing for more affordable college for anyone.

"The function of healthcare is to provide healthcare to every man, woman, and child in this country," Sanders said. 

He also spoke about immigration; offering Dreamers, especially those here in Arizona, a few words of hope.

"Poll, after poll, after poll shows that 80% or more of the American people want to provide legal status to these young people and a path to citizenship. You are not alone," Sanders said. 

He also touched on the issues of climate change saying it is not a hoax, and that America needs to invest in sustainable energy.  

Sanders also spoke about gun control and called for a ban on assault rifles.

"I happen to believe that now is the time to end the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States," Sanders said.

He cited the recent shootings in Parkland, Florida and the Las Vegas Massacre as reasons for his call to action.

Attendees said having Sanders in Arizona shows a wave of democratic enthusiasm hitting the state.

"I just hope that they really stay in tune and even if he doesn't run again that they'll support politicians just like him," said Elee Jackson, a Bernie supporter.

"What strikes me in a very deep sense as being horrifically un-American is having a President of the United States who wants to divide us up based on the color of our skin, based on where we came from or our religion, or our sexual orientation," Sanders said. 

"We are not going back; we are going to bring our people together, not allow us to be divided up."