Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spoke mostly about policy issues at the University of the Arts in Center City on Saturday, saving the personal take-downs of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for his introductory speakers.
After taking the stage following a series of remarks from campus organizers and Pennsylvania Democratic senatorial candidate Katie McGinty, Sanders announced he would be giving a “boring speech.”
In her speech, McGinty focused mostly on eviscerating Trump, a 1968 Wharton graduate.
“We didn’t think that Republican nominee Donald Trump could sink any lower,” McGinty said, referencing the video that the Washington Post released of Donald Trump in which he said, among other things, that he could nonconsensually grope women because of his fame and status.
“Donald Trump is a lewd, lecherous low-life. As a woman I am appalled,” McGinty said. “What Donald Trump is up to is no locker room stuff…Donald Trump confessed to and celebrated sexually assaulting women.”
Trump had released a statement in which he called the recorded conversation “locker room banter.”
Sanders finally got on stage, thanking the audience “in advance” for voting for McGinty and Clinton, and touched on familiar themes with only minimal references to Trump.
“This campaign is not about Clinton and not about Trump, it is about you,” he said at one point, adding that Clinton had promised that “no person will get a Supreme Court nomination unless they pledge to overturn Citizens United,” and that she also planned to introduce a constitutional amendment to overturn it within her first 100 days in Congress.
“The choice is clear — Hillary Clinton for president,” he said.
From there, he addressed student debt.
“How many people here are dealing with student debt?” he asked the crowd. Many people called back that they were.
Sanders asked people to call out the interest rates they were paying on their student loans.
“Why are people paying 10, 12 percent interest rates on their student debt?” he asked. “That is crazy stuff.”
He advocated for McGinty and Clinton’s position of allowing students to refinance student loans and of forgiving student loans for people who go into public service.
Sanders skewered Trump for critiquing trade deals, which he admitted he also objects to, because he said Trump sends his own production overseas.
“Stop giving speeches!” he yelled. “Bring those jobs back to the United States.”
James Morrone, a Drexel student, described Sanders’ speech as “invigorating,” and said it made him want to vote for Clinton.
“Originally I was thinking Green [Party] or Libertarian, but he was right: Trump is racist and it sucks.”
University of the Arts student Alaska Monaco also said she had come around to voting for Clinton.
“I would have preferred to vote Stein or Bernie, but, I mean, [Clinton] already has the whole swing of things and she has Bernie’s support,” she said.
Monaco said she felt Sanders has always connected better with college students, but Clinton’s stints on Broad City and Saturday Night Live have made her more appealing.
“She put the effort in, so we appreciate it,” Monaco said. “And she’s overqualified, I mean she’s the first person to be overqualified for president.”
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