Monday November 4, 2019
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rallied with U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar on the University of Minnesota campus Sunday night, ripping President Donald Trump and calling for a mass movement in 2020.
Sanders, visiting Minnesota for the second time this year, told a crowd of several thousand supporters at Williams Arena that Trump was the most corrupt president in U.S. history. Sanders supporters began loudly chanting about Trump, “Lock him up!”
“This is a president who deserves to be impeached and will be impeached,” Sanders said, speaking over the chants.Sanders said people view him and Omar – who has drawn criticism for her comments about Judaism, Sanders’ religion – as “an odd political couple.” But he said the two “share a common link” as descendants of people who fled violence and poverty to immigrate to the U.S.
Omar endorsed Sanders last month, and Sunday’s rally took place in the congressional district she represents. Omar is the only Democratic member of Minnesota’s congressional delegation not endorsing home-state candidate Amy Klobuchar for president.
Sanders has said his father left Poland in the 1920s. Omar was a refugee whose family escaped Somalia when she was a girl.
“There is no member of Congress in the modern history of this country who has been subjected to more vitriolic, more hate-filled, more racist attacks from Donald Trump and some of his supporters than this extraordinarily brave congresswoman,” Sanders said of Omar.
Speaking before Sanders, Omar called for a “mass movement of the working class” in the 2020 election.
“I am beyond honored and excited for a president who will fight against Western imperialism and fight for a just world,” she said of Sanders.
Omar drew criticism this week for voting “present” – not in favor – of a House resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide of the early 1900s. She appeared to indirectly reference that vote Sunday.
“The fight for human rights is undeniable,” she said during her speech. “When we recognize injustices of the past and present -- whether it is genocide against Jewish people, Armenians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Native Americans or more, we recognize – we realize –that recognition isn’t about punishing our political foes, but leading within a moral obligation.”
The crowd mostly filled the arena’s lower bowl, and a smattering of people sitting in the upper level. The Sanders campaign had originally scheduled the rally for the 2,700-seat Northrup Auditorium on campus, but moved it to Williams Arena to accommodate more attendees.
Sanders’ rival, Elizabeth Warren, also drew several thousand supporters during an appearance at Macalester College earlier this fall. Trump rallied with about 20,000 people at Target Center in October.
It was not immediately clear whether Omar would campaign with Sanders at any future events.
Minnesota’s presidential primary is scheduled for March 3, part of “Super Tuesday,” when voters in several states head to the polls. Sanders previously campaigned at the Minnesota State Fair in late August.
Minnesota’s primary will happen one month after the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3. Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren are in a virtual dead heat in that state, a New York Times poll released Friday indicated.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, one of Sanders’ earliest prominent supporters, spoke before Omar and Sanders and urged supporters to campaign vigorously in Minnesota for the Vermont senator.
Prince’s band, New Power Generation, performed before the speeches started. Last month, Prince’s estate said Trump’s campaign had used the hit song “Purple Rain” without permission at the Target Center rally.