Bernie Sanders Rallies at Marist College Ahead of N.Y. Primary
Bernie Sanders arrived in Poughkeepsie Tuesday by way of Hyde Park. The Democratic presidential hopeful walked the grounds of Franklin D. Roosevelt's home before arriving at Marist College for a rally that drew thousands.
Roosevelt's legacy was a touchstone in Sanders' speech, in which the Vermont Senator renewed calls for a national $15 minimum wage, free college education and an expansion of Social Security benefits.
"Before [Roosevelt's] becoming president, the general culture was, 'well, it is too bad when people sleep out on the street or that people are hungry or that people die because they don't have access to health care, but is not the government's responsibility to do anything about it.' And he said wrong: in a democratic, civilized society we will do something about it," Sanders said.
Sanders' message drew enthusiastic applause from supporters, who waited in line for several hours for the rally featuring a special appearance by former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe.
I think he's the guy that represents real change and action
Nate Binzen of Beacon said Sanders' views on economic inequality and climate change appealed to him as a voter.
"I think he's the guy that represents real change and action on those in a way none of the other candidates do," Binzen said.
The Sanders rally marked the first Mid-Hudson Valley appearance by a 2016 presidential candidate, adding to the excitement for many attendees.
"It's amazing because you never think that these big people are going to come to a small town that you're in," said Benjamin Khare, a Newburgh native who attends Dutchess County Community College.
It's not often that New York state is even relevant in the primary season, so to have any of the presidential candidates take us up on our invitation is thrilling
Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro invited all presidential hopefuls to the region ahead of the April 19 primary. The Republican official was in the audience for the Sanders rally and confirmed more candidates would be coming to Dutchess over the next week.
"It's not often that New York state is even relevant in the primary season, so to have any of the presidential candidates take us up on our invitation is thrilling," he said.
Molinaro confirmed that Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump would hold a campaign stop in Dutchess on Sunday and said the county could expect one or two more White House hopefuls in the area before the primary.