YPSILANTI, Mich. (WOOD) — Thousands of people filled the Convocation Center at Eastern Michigan University on Monday to hear from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic presidential candidate’s first campaign visit to Michigan.
“It was inspiring, encouraging and humbling just to hear in person what he had to say,” said Kenaniah North, a Sanders supporter who attended the event.
North, like many other young Sanders supporters, stood in line in Ypsilanti with about 9,000 other people to hear him speak. The Michigan Nurses Association started the rally by endorsing Sanders.
Sanders, still riding his New Hampshire primary win over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, rejected Republicans’ stance that the replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly over the weekend, should be chosen by the next president. Sanders said President Barack Obama should nominate a replacement — which Obama has said he plans to do.
Sanders also commented on the Flint water crisis. He said he met with some residents of Flint who are dealing with lead contamination of the city’s drinking water before the rally.
“I obviously have read the newspapers, I’ve been somewhat involved in the situation, but I really did not know how ugly and how horrible and how terrible, what is going on in that community,” Sanders said. “It is beyond my comprehension in the year 2016 in the United States of America we are poisoning our children.”
He renewed his call for Gov. Rick Snyder to resign in the wake of the crisis.
You can watch his entire speech by clicking or tapping on the video player below. If you’re using the WOOD TV8 news app, tap here for video.
As Sanders hit his platform points, he talked about health care, making it affordable and giving paid maternity leave for families.
“America must join the rest of the industrialized world,” he said. “Health care for all.”
Sanders went on to discuss wanting to raise the minimum wage, promising “15 bucks an hour plus union representation.”
He also repeated a vow to help students eliminate college debt and give the everyone the chance at higher education.
“A child who does well in school will be able to get a higher education regardless of the income of the family,” Sanders said.
He also spoke about reforming the criminal justice system and bringing jobs back to America.
“What this campaign is about is saying that the United States of America is not about a handful of billionaires controlling our economy, controlling our political life,” he said. “We are going to have a political revolution. One person, one vote.”
Sanders, who represents Vermont in the U.S. Senate, will be back in Michigan next month for a debate against Clinton in Flint.
–The Associated Press contributed to this report.