BOSTON (AP) — At a rally that had the feel of a campaign event, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren appealed to their supporters Friday as liberals continue to mobilize against the agenda of Republican President Donald Trump.
The joint appearance by the senators from Vermont and Massachusetts, respectively, was attended by hundreds of enthusiastic backers at a downtown Boston theater.
The two hit familiar themes, including wealth inequality, the need to expand health care, help for a struggling middle class and a $15 per hour minimum wage.
Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said that the time is long overdue for a “fundamental restructuring of the Democratic Party.”
He said that Democrats shouldn’t be “a party of the liberal elite, but a party of the working class, a party of the grass roots.”
Sanders also said that he will push legislation that will make public colleges and universities tuition free.
Some of the biggest cheers came when he vowed to work to expand Medicare coverage to everyone in the country, essentially creating a guarantee of health care for all.
“Don’t tell me in the United States of America that we cannot do it,” Sanders said.
Warren, a Democrat, also drew cheers from the crowd when she credited protesters for helping put pressure on Republicans to try to find a replacement for former President Barack Obama’s health care law — legislation the GOP has failed to pass.
“It didn’t happen because we got out there and fought back,” Warren said.
Like Sanders, Warren also touched on economic themes, but she directed a lot of her fire squarely at Trump, even as she urged the crowd to stay focused more on policy than the president’s personality.
“The real point is not who Donald Trump is. It’s not what kind of person he is. The real point is what Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress are doing,” she said.
“I grew up in an America which was not perfect, but every day we had a better than 90 percent chance that we would do better than our parents,” Warren added. “That has been ripped away from us.”
Warren and Sanders are among the top voices in the Senate opposed to Trump. Democrats hold few levers of power in Washington, with Republicans in charge of the House, Senate and the White House.
The former presidential candidate and Warren are both up for re-election next year.
Earlier Friday, Sanders delivered a speech at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, calling Trump a “fraud” and saying his goal was to rally Americans around a more progressive agenda.
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