Bernie Sanders calls for Snyder resignation at MSU campaign stop

GVL / Kevin Sielaff - United States Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders speaks on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at Michigan State Universitys Breslin Student Events Center.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL / Kevin Sielaff – United States Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders speaks on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at Michigan State University’s Breslin Student Events Center.

Jess Hodge

Just six days ahead of the Michigan primaries, students, faculty, staff and community members alike flooded the Breslin Center at Michigan State University on March 2 as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders rallied support for his presidential campaign.

Sanders spoke about foreign policy, drugs, universal health care and climate change. He emphasized the wealth inequality seen across America that affects African Americans, middle class citizens, women and various marginalized groups.

“Our vision and our belief in America in the future has got to be that anyone who works 40 or 50 hours a week does not live in poverty,” Sanders said.

He talked about how his campaign was for the young people trying to pay off $50,000 in student loans, for the senior citizens who need healthcare, for the veterans of America who are in desperate need of help after coming home from war and for the fast food workers whose wages need to be raised to a living wage.

Supporters were happy to hear that although Sanders only won four states during the Super Tuesday primaries compared to Hillary Clinton’s seven, he wasn’t giving up just yet.

“Our campaign started at 3 percent in the polls, we have come a long way,” he said. “Super Tuesday, we won landslide victories in Minnesota and Colorado, very good victory in Oklahoma and won by 70 points in my own state of Vermont.”

Throughout the presidential campaign, Sanders and Clinton have been neck-and-neck at times. CNN polls show that while both Sanders and Clinton would beat out Donald Trump if he were the Republican nominee, only Sanders would triumph over Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.

“Together we, and the American people, will defeat Trump (because) most Americans know coming together trumps the viciousness in separating and dividing us,” Sanders said. “Most Americans know that community and helping each other trumps selfishness.

“Most Americans know that love trumps hatred.”

Sanders also spoke on a subject close to home for the rally attendees: the Flint water crisis. His request for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to resign brought the crowd to their feet as Sanders went on to describe what he saw in Flint, Michigan.

“I cannot recall, in my political life, ever hearing such an outrage as the one I heard from the people in Flint,” he said. “It was beyond belief. It goes without saying that we have got to move, and move boldly, to rebuild Flint. While Flint might be the worst example of a collapsing infrastructure, it is not the only (one).”

Although Sanders is often criticized by media outlets for being too liberal, he refuted that critique by insisting he only advocates for the things he believes Americans have the right to, such as tuition-free college and mandatory maternity leave for new mothers.

“(The) United States must end the international embarrassment of being the only major nation that doesn’t offer paid family medical leave,” Sanders said. “I believe we need to make public colleges and universities tuition free. This is a common sense idea, it isn’t a radical idea, and countries all over the world are doing it.”

From the beginning, Sanders’ campaign has been based on creating a fair life for the average U.S. citizen, centered around fixing wealth and racial inequality. He also advocates for making wealthy corporation owners pay their “fair share” of taxes.

“Wall Street’s greed and recklessness (helped) destroy our economy; it is Wall Street’s time to help the middle class of this country,” Sanders said. “Wall Street has unlimited amounts of money. The only antidote, the only way we make change together is when millions of people, black, white, Latino, Native Americans, gay and straight, people born in the country or people coming from elsewhere, (is) when we stand together.”

Michigan’s primary elections will take place March 8. Sanders urged people to go out and vote, encouraging them to stand up for what they think is right.

Sanders emphasized the importance of people supporting the political change he feels needs to happen.

“Change comes about when millions of people look at the world and say, ‘You know what? The status quo is wrong,’” Sanders said. “If you do not stand up for your rights, the billionaire class and the lobbyists and the big campaign contributors, they are not going to stand up for you. You will have to do it yourself.”

Sanders said he hopes to create change in the political world, and asked the American people for their help in making that happen.

“When people stand up, even when others think the idea is a crazy idea, that is how change takes place,” he said. “Have a vision, be prepared to fight for that vision, keep (your) eye on prize and we can make extraordinary things happen.”