On May 26, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders officially kicked off his 2016 presidential bid in Burlington with a fiery speech that implored progressives to help him create “a political revolution” that will transform the United States “economically, politically and environmentally.”
“This country faces more serious problems today than at any time since the Great Depression,” Sanders told a crowd of 5,000 at Waterfront Park. “If you include the planetary crisis of climate change, it may well be that the challenges we face now are more dire than any time in our modern history.”
Sanders, 73, vowed to elevate issues like income inequality, climate change and campaign finance in the presidential campaign. He said that the “grotesque” level of money and power that the nation’s billionaires currently enjoy is “immoral, bad economics and unsustainable.”
While Sanders was praised by a string of onstage supporters, including environmental activist Bill McKibben, several leading Vermont Democrats, including Sen. Patrick Leahy, Gov. Peter Shumlin and former Gov. Howard Dean, were notably absent from the event. All three have thrown their support behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
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