Bernie Sanders Ends 2016 Announcement Road Trip with a Town Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS – A long line of people snaked for blocks outside the Minneapolis American Indian Center on Sunday as another overflow crowd turned out to hear Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders talk about his Agenda for America to create jobs and rebuild the middle class.
More than 2,000 people packed into a basketball gymnasium and as many more stood outside on a cool Minnesota morning cheering loudly when the U.S. senator from Vermont thundered, “Our country belongs to all of our people and not just a handful of billionaires.”
It was the biggest turnout since last Tuesday when more than 5,000 supporters showed up to support Sanders at his formal campaign kickoff rally at a lakefront park created along Lake Champlain in Burlington when he was mayor.
In less than a week, Sanders took his message to more than 10,000 people from the packed-pews of the old South Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to a standing-room-only meeting at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.
The turnouts reflected the building momentum of what Bernie said must be a mass movement to create a “political revolution” aimed at restoring democracy for the people in the United States. “We are going to go directly to the people in meetings like this and we’re going to be knocking on doors all over Minnesota and all across America,” Sanders told the big and boisterous audience here in that state that holds caucuses early next year when the presidential nominating process gets underway.
He laid out detailed policy prescriptions including a $1 trillion push to rebuild America’s crumbling roads and bridges and create 13 million good-paying jobs. He said he will lead the effort in Congress to block a new 12-nation trade deal that would ship more American jobs to low-wage nations overseas. He called for raising the minimum wage eventually to $15 an hour from today’s starvation wage of $7.25 an hour. He said the wealthy and profitable corporations should not be allowed to continue evading taxes by sheltering profits in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands. He said 4-year public colleges and universities should be tuition free. He advocated a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care system.
“Think big,” Sanders exhorted the crowd.
“Bernie Sanders can’t do it alone. We have got to do it together through a strong grassroots movement,” he said. “We have got to think big. Imagine a nation and a government that works for all of us, not a government dominated by billionaires and their lobbyists. We have got to stand together because when we do there are a heck of a lot more of us than them.”
Today Governor Martin O’Malley Launched His Campaign for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States of America.
Here’s What People Are Saying about Him: “New Generation Leader,” “Powerful Campaign Kick-Off,” “Forceful Message,” Performance a “Ringing Calling Card,” “Strongest Rival,” "True Progressive," “Best Manager Working in Government Today”
Bloomberg: “Overall: Smartly written speech powerfully delivered by one of the best orators in American politics. Far from running from his Baltimore record, he embraced it, along with what he did as Maryland's governor. Contrasted himself with Hillary Clinton as more left, more populist, and more of a leader. Saturday morning might not be the best time to make an introduction to America, but O'Malley demonstrated why Bill Clinton tagged him long ago as one of the Democratic Party's biggest stars. If the nomination fight didn't have an overwhelming frontrunner, O'Malley's performance would have been a game changer; instead, it is ringing calling card… A- overall.”
New York Times: “His argument was both economic and, in a clear contrast with his significantly older Democratic rivals, generational. ‘Today, the American dream seems for so many of us to be hanging by a thread,” he said in formally announcing his candidacy…“This is not the American dream,” he added. “It does not have to be this way. This generation of Americans still has time to become great. We must save our country now. And we will do that by rebuilding the dream.’”
Reuters: “Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) blasted social injustice and Wall Street excesses on Saturday as he announced he will seek the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination as an alternative to frontrunner Hillary Clinton. ‘We cannot rebuild the American Dream here at home by catering to the voices of the privileged and the powerful,’ said O'Malley, who has aggressively courted the Democratic Party's liberal wing. He launched his 2016 White House campaign at a waterfront park in downtown Baltimore, where he began his political career first as a member of city council and then as mayor. ‘Powerful, wealthy special interests here at home have used our government to create, in our own country, an economy that is leaving a majority of our people behind,’ he said.”
Associated Press: "Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley entered the Democratic presidential race on Saturday… casting himself as a new generation leader who would rebuild the economy and reform Wall Street. "I'm running for you," he told a crowd of about 1,000 people in a populist message at Federal Hill Park in Baltimore, where he served as mayor before two terms as governor. O'Malley said was drawn into the campaign "to rebuild the truth of the American dream for all Americans." …O'Malley has presented himself to voters as a next-generation figure in the party, pointing to his record as governor on issues such as gay marriage, immigration, economic issues and the death penalty.
“It was a forceful message that O'Malley will focus on overhauling the financial system, a priority for liberals opposed to the bailouts of Wall Street banks. "Tell me how it is, that not a single Wall Street CEO was convicted of a crime related to the 2008 economic meltdown? Not a single one," O'Malley said. "Tell me how it is, that you can get pulled over for a broken tail light, but if you wreck the nation's economy you are untouchable?""
Washington Post: "O’Malley compiled a record of progressive achievement as governor. He readily cites a series of statistics and successes, from raising the minimum wage to the passage of marriage equality to higher spending on schools, to job growth better than in Virginia or Pennsylvania (though not better than states like Ohio, Michigan, Illinois or Wisconsin)."
"He has spent months seeking to carve out space to Clinton’s left, offering a populist message attacking big banks and corporations, decrying the wealth gap, calling for a higher minimum wage and more rights for workers and parting company with President Obama — and implicitly with Clinton — on an Asian trade pact. He sees her, though without saying so directly, as too cozy with Wall Street and big money and unwilling to get tough with those he says helped wreck the economy in 2008. “Wall Street will not police itself,” he said. “We need our federal government to do what people expected us to do when they voted for us eight years ago, and that is to take on Wall Street.”
ABC (WMUR): “O'Malley has presented himself to voters as a next-generation leader for the party, pointing to his record as governor on issues such as gay marriage, immigration, economic issues and the death penalty.”
CBS: “O'Malley has positioned himself as the true progressive in the race - the counterpoint to the frontrunner, who has been running as a populist, but has had her centrist moments.”’
Pittsburgh Tribune: “A work ethic and values learned from his father's blue-collar Pittsburgh upbringing will bolster former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley in his run for the presidency, he told the Tribune-Review.”
WBAL: “O'Malley, 52, presents himself as a next-generation leader who built a progressive record in Maryland on gay marriage, immigration and the minimum wage.”
The Baltimore Sun: “With Baltimore's skyline as his backdrop, the 52-year-old Democrat and former mayor framed next year's election in dire terms, suggesting his administration would serve as a bulwark against GOP efforts to cut the federal government and social programs.”
CBS: “In a similar populist vein, O'Malley lobbed shots at Clinton and likely Republican candidate Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida. ‘Recently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he'd be just fine with either Bush or Clinton," the former Maryland governor said. ‘The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families.’ ‘We cannot rebuild the American Dream here at home by catering to the voices of the privileged and the powerful,’ he added. ‘Let's be honest. They were the ones who turned our economy upside-down in the first place. And they are the only ones who are benefiting from it.’”
CNN: “Speaking in rolled-up sleeves, O'Malley began with a call for economic fairness and closing the gap between rich and poor in America. ‘This is the urgent work calling us forward today: to rebuild the truth of the American Dream for all Americans,’ O'Malley said. ‘And to begin right now.’’
Mother Jones: “...what makes O'Malley unique as a politician is...he is arguably the best manager working in government today.”
Wall Street Journal: “He has tried to position himself to Mrs. Clinton’s left. He opposes a pending Pacific Rim trade deal and the Keystone XL pipeline, and favors expanding Social Security benefits. Mrs. Clinton has either sidestepped these issues or remained silent.”
MSNBC: “I’m running for you,” O’Malley said as U2’s “In the Name of Love” swelled and several hundred friends and supporters cheered at Baltimore’s Federal Hill Park. He was joined by his wife, a local judge, and children, along with some local officials and longtime supporters. O’Malley came out swinging at the former secretary of state, suggesting she’s part of a ruling elite that needs to be overthrown. “True story, Goldman Sachs is one of the biggest repeat-offending investment banks in America. Recently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he’d be just fine with either Bush or Clinton,” O’Malley said, adding that Americans need to “retake control of our own American government!” He went on to call for reinstating Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era financial law, and prosecuting Wall Street banks involved in the 2008 meltdown. “Tell me how it is that you can get pulled over for a broken tail light in our country, but if you wreck the nation’s economy you are untouchable,” he said of the banks. "
The Hill: “The agenda O’Malley laid out was liberal across the issues. He touted his signing as governor of bills legalizing gay marriage and giving in-state tuition to students in the country illegally. During the surge of unaccompanied children at the border last summer, he argued against deporting them, and he has criticized Clinton as being late to the party on immigration issues. He called for a higher minimum wage and respecting the right for workers to form unions. Saying climate change is real, he called for spurring American jobs in renewable energy. But economic inequality was at the core of the speech.”
NBC News: "The heat that immigration has brought to the 2016 presidential campaigns could intensify Saturday with the addition of former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley to the Democratic field. All expectations are that on Saturday in Baltimore, O'Malley will announce his bid to be the Democrats' 2016 presidential nominee. When he does, supporters say he'll bring with him a record of work on issues of concern to Latinos and immigrants that rivals that of his fiercest Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Though he's considered an underdog with a big gap to overcome to win the Democratic primary, several Latino leaders consider him a stronger ally on immigration and support of the Latino community."
Al Jazeera: “O’Malley adds to...a wing of the Democratic party that has been increasingly energized and vocal in demands for a more progressive candidate championing issues like income inequality…. He championed a solidly liberal agenda, ending the death penalty, legalizing same-sex marriage, offering in-state tuition to the children of undocumented immigrants and pushing through tighter gun control measures.”
The Nation: "So what does Martin O’Malley have to offer? More, perhaps, than those who seek to police the 2016 presidential competition care to acknowledge…O'Malley recognizes that claiming that moral high ground involves taking risks and doing the right thing even when it is not necessarily popular."
Congressman Thomas Massie Endorses Rand Paul for President of the United States
NEWPORT, KY - Sen. Rand Paul today joined Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) at a 'Stand with Rand' event in Newport, KY. During the event, Congressman Massie announced his endorsement of Rand Paul for President of the United States of America.
"Today I am proud to endorse conservative ally and fellow Kentuckian Senator Rand Paul for President of the United States. Rand Paul is the most principled conservative in the Senate and is a fierce advocate for personal liberty, economic freedom, and fiscal responsibility. The United States needs a President who will first and foremost defend the Constitution, and Rand is the only candidate that has proven time and again that he will do just that," Congressman Massie said. "More than anyone else, Rand understands that the entire Bill of Rights must be honored. He inspired me to seek office, and I will continue to 'Stand with Rand' in his bid to defeat the Washington Machine and unleash the American Dream."
"It has been an honor serving the Commonwealth of Kentucky alongside Congressman Thomas Massie. He is a great champion of fiscal responsibility and individual liberty. Together, we will fight to defeat the Washington Machine by limiting the powers of the Federal government, restoring individual freedoms and unleashing the American Dream," said Sen. Paul.
Washington, D.C. - Today, Senator Rand Paul issued the following statement on his ongoing battle to defeat the NSA spying program: "I have fought for several years now to end the illegal spying of the NSA on ordinary Americans. The callous use of general warrants and the disregard for the Bill of Rights must end. Forcing us to choose between our rights and our safety is a false choice and we are better than that as a nation and as a people.
That's why two years ago, I sued the NSA. It's why I proposed the Fourth Amendment Protection Act. It's why I have been seeking for months to have a full, open and honest debate on this issue-- a debate that never came.
So last week, seeing proponents of this illegal spying rushing toward a deadline to wholesale renew this unconstitutional power, I filibustered the bill. I spoke for over 10 hours to call attention to the vast expansion of the spy state and the corresponding erosion of our liberties.
Then, last week, I further blocked the extension of these powers and the Senate adjourned for recess rather than stay and debate them.
Tomorrow, we will come back with just hours left before the NSA illegal spying powers expire.
Let me be clear: I acknowledge the need for a robust intelligence agency and for a vigilant national security.
I believe we must fight terrorism, and I believe we must stand strong against our enemies.
But we do not need to give up who we are to defeat them. In fact, we must not.
There has to be another way. We must find it together.
So tomorrow, I will force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program.
I am ready and willing to start the debate on how we fight terrorism without giving up our liberty.
Sometimes when the problem is big enough, you just have to start over. The tax code and our regulatory burdens are two good examples.
Fighting against unconditional, illegal powers that take away our rights, taken by previous Congresses and administrations is just as important.
I do not do this to obstruct. I do it to build something better, more effective, more lasting, and more cognizant of who we are as Americans."
DNC Chair Statement on Martin O’Malley’s 2016 Announcement
Washington, D.C. – In response to Martin O’Malley’s announcement that he will run for president in 2016, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
"I welcome Martin O’Malley to the field of candidates seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in 2016. As Maryland’s Governor, Martin O’Malley demonstrated his solid commitment to social justice and economic opportunity.
"Governor O’Malley has been a leader on fighting for equal pay for women, increasing access to quality health care and expanding voting rights. On issues from college affordability to increasing the state’s minimum wage, Governor O’Malley exemplifies the Democratic Party’s middle-class economics, highlighting the significant differences between the priorities of the Democratic and Republican parties, regardless of who emerges as each party’s nominee.
"I look forward to Governor O’Malley joining Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders on the campaign trail as they make the case to the American people that the Democratic Party is on their side."