ONLINE EXCLUSIVE BY JAKE BULLINGTON
Senator Bernie Sanders, former Democratic candidate for president, returned to Drake for the first time since the Brown and Black Forum in January.
Sanders received a warm welcome, with an estimated 300 people in attendance.
As expected, Sanders went after Republican candidate for president Donald Trump and his policies.
“If you think what we need to do…is to give the very very wealthiest people in this country a ‘uge’ tax breaks, then vote for Donald Trump,” Sanders said.
Sanders also addressed the Democratic party’s issues, rather than solely focusing on the opponent. Speaking at the university gave Sanders an ample opportunity to speak about education.
“Hillary Clinton and I understand that America does not do well, our economy does not do well, unless we have the best-educated workforce in the world,” Sanders said.
Sanders also utilized this opportunity to address student debt, which was a key campaign issue for both Sanders and Clinton during the primaries.
“How many people here have student debt,” Sanders asked. Many in the room raised their hands. “Well, there you go,” Sanders said.
Sanders also touched on why to vote for Clinton, rather than pulling an all-out attack against Trump and his policies. This left a good impression with Drake students present at the rally.
“I really liked it, it was issue-based and wasn’t a whole lot of just angry words,” said first-year Graham Johnson. “The thing I liked about the speech is that it wasn’t all about Donald Trump, it was about actual issues, I think that’s important.”
Another student thought the rally was a good opportunity to unite Sanders and Clinton supporters with the general election nearing.
“He really supported Hillary’s agenda as well as brought in some of his own ideas and mixed them together, and made the point that they’re really the same party, they’re going for the same ideas and we just need to unite and go after Donald Trump,” said first-year Dana Haverkamp.