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Bernie Sanders makes pitch directly to Michigan DNC delegates

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

On the final day of the Democratic National Convention, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders met with Michigan delegates, where he talked about Flint water and Donald Trump.

The crowd in the overflowing hotel ballroom started chanting his name before Bernie Sanders entered.

Sanders delegates and supporters had front row seats and cheered the former presidential candidate several times, though not when he talked about the need to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The Vermont Senator touched on a few Michigan issues.

Sanders told the delegates it’s beyond comprehension that children in Flint are being poisoned by lead in their drinking water.  An ill-advised switch to the Flint River as the city’s tap water source ended up damaging aging pipes which are still leeching lead into the city’s drinking water.

Sanders supporters from four states (Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee and Oregon) angled for front row seats to hear from the candidate.

“But it is not just Flint whose infrastructure is collapsing,” Sanders told the audience. “There are communities all over this country.  And now in the Democratic Platform, because of your work, we’re going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, creating millions of jobs, rebuilding that crumbling infrastructure.”

Sanders also noted that Flint and Detroit were at one time prosperous communities.

He blames trade deals that have moved auto plants to “Mexico or China…wherever they go.”

Sanders says that’s a reason to oppose the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, a line that drew a standing ovation from the audience.

Sanders urged his most loyal supporters to unify to defeat Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.  

Sanders delegates in the Michigan delegation have been resentful of the process that denied their candidate the Democratic presidential nomination. 

But Sanders accused Trump of being a demagogue, who should never become President of the United States.

Sanders supporters hugged him and posed for pictures with the former presidential candidate as he slipped out a rear door.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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