Continuing his campaign in the Big Apple’s biggest borough, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rallied in Coney Island, just two days after being met by huge crowds near his childhood home in Midwood.
Turning out yet another massive crowd at the Coney Island Boardwalk – even stopping for a bite to eat at Nathan’s – on Sunday, April 10, Sanders addressed several issues at the forefront of his campaign including his plan to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, climate change, universal health care and the importance of voter turnout on primary day.
Former lead singer of the band R.E.M, Michael Stipe was in attendance at the rally and took to the podium to show his support for the Brooklyn-born Democratic candidate.
“Senator Bernie Sanders first drew my attention during an especially dark time in our city’s history,” Stipe said to the crowd, “a time when people allowed fear, hysteria and misinformation to dominate their better judgment. I watched Bernie take a principled stand and vote against the Iraq war and the Patriot Act. When it was easy to surrender our personal freedoms to the illusion of safety and protections, Bernie said no.
“Too often we watch as politicians say one thing and do the other, and often reverse their positions and pretend that they’ve always held that position,” he continued. “Bernie Sanders isn’t worried about political expediency and doing what polls might say. His moral compass is due north and that is exactly what we need right now.”
Along with discussing hot button campaign topics, Sanders also spoke about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s chances in the race.
“I know that there is concern that Donald Trump might become president of the United States,” Sanders said. “It ain’t gonna happen. Last CNN poll I saw had us 20 points ahead of Trump, but, it’s not just polls. The American people will not elect a candidate who everyday insults Latinos and Mexicans, who insults Muslims and Islam, who insults women and insults African Americans.
“Donald Trump will not become president because the American people know that what is great about our country is the diversity that we have,” he continued. “They know that it is our strength, that coming together always trumps dividing us up. The American people know that supporting each other always trumps selfishness and maybe, most importantly, at the end of the day, love always trumps hatred.”
After the crowd erupted in a spirited “Bernie” cheer, the candidate wrapped up his speech with a plea for voters to turn up on primary day.
“On April 19, as all of you know, there is going to be a very, very important Democratic primary here in New York State,” said Sanders. “Now, in this primary we are taking on all of the establishment. But what I have learned throughout this campaign is when there is a high voter turnout – and we’ve seen high voter turnouts recently in Wisconsin and many other states – when that happens, we win.
“So, I hope that on April 19, we will have the largest voter turnout in the history of Democratic primaries,” he continued. “I hope very much that here in New York State; you’re going to help lead this country toward the political revolution which we need.”