Sanders headlining event aimed at boosting Democrats

Alvin Kelly
April 21, 2017

Jane Peters, a retired education official, echoed Olin's sentiments. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., addresses an audience during a rally in Boston. "He has to be a leader".

Perez said the Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama, "made tremendous progress", and that "we have more work to do" but didn't say whether that work included a plan like Sanders'. Many supporters of Clinton's campaign believe she failed not because she declined to attack the rich, but primarily because of outside factors beyond her control - the last-minute letter from FBI Director James Comey; the foreign intervention by Vladimir Putin and WikiLeaks; the archaic nature of the Electoral College.

"Kentuckians have roundly rejected the ultra-liberal, anti-jobs platform of coastal elites like Sanders and Perez", Kentucky Republican Party spokesman Tres Watson said.

That's why Perez, fresh off a contentious campaign to take over the DNC, is sharing a stage and sitting down for joint interviews with Sanders.

The goal, then, of the unity tour is to bridge this great divide between how the public views Bernie Sanders and how it views the more deeply entrenched members of the Democratic Party establishment.

The party's tour continues this week with visits to red and purple states, including Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada and Utah. Sanders' staff organized much of the trip, down to the music.

How the tables have turned... the DNC joins Sanders at an event that's all his feeltheBern-style.

On the flip side, many progressive Democrats regard Sanders, along with a few others, like Massachusetts Sen. Yet there's no denying that Sanders continues to have an effect on the Democratic Party, and right now he and Tom Perez, the chair of the DNC, are traveling the country on a "unity tour" that seems to be displaying something less than flawless unity.

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Claiming that he remains "personally pro-life", Mello told The Huffington Post that he "never do anything to restrict access to reproductive health care", including abortions. "It's not about a message". The party wants people to RSVP at www.Democrats.org but said it's not required.

Still he said he is "thrilled" that the party is making some of the changes.

"People are not involved if you're not thinking about running for school board, city council, state legislature or whatever it is", said Sanders. I have tried calling many times but get no response.

It's a tricky dance for Sanders, an independent who does call himself a Democrat - rather, a democratic socialist - but sought the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and aligns with the party's minority in the Senate.

Perez praised Sanders' ability to energize voters, and Sanders in turn did not shy away from discussing reforms he still thinks the party needs to make. The Democrats lost it, he said. He said the party's strategy should include building a strong base in all 50 states and not just on both coasts. "It's an investment. If people are getting health care, it's an investment". The crowd gave him a standing ovation.

"I am really glad you reacted like that way", he said when the cheering died down.

PEREZ: I think you're creating a false choice, Chris.

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