Senator Bernie Sanders kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign this week, and on Sunday he stopped in Chicago to fire up supporters and to begin to lay out his agenda for the coming year.
The senator, who lost out on the Democratic nomination in the 2016 race to Hillary Clinton, was greeted like a rock star at Chicago’s Navy Pier on Sunday. Sanders took aim at President Donald Trump’s administration, but also laid out his vision for what he hopes his campaign, and potential presidency, would accomplish.
“We’re not only going to defeat Trump, but we’re going to transform the United States of America,” he said. “My brothers and sisters, there is too much concentration of wealth and power in this country, and this is a fight we’re not going to run away from.”
Sanders’ supporters, who came out by the thousands to see him speak, were excited that he visited Chicago so early in his campaign.
“Starting early gives him this enthusiasm today, and gives us a chance to give him some financial support to make this happen,” one man said.
President Trump and Republicans have already begun to sharpen their attacks against the senator, criticizing his self-described socialism as out of touch with what Americans want.
“Democrat lawmakers are now embracing socialism,” the president said during a speech at CPAC. “They want to replace individual rights with total government domination.”
A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that being a socialist, and being more than 75 years old, would be the least desirable characteristics for a candidate, and although Sanders fits both of those descriptions, his supporters at Navy Pier aren’t worried.
“He has very wise insight, and he’s just a very concrete person, so I have confidence in him,” one of his supporters said.