SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Sen. Bernie Sanders left little doubt why he was making a campaign stop in San Francisco Sunday.
“I think we’re gonna win California!,” he told a jubilant crowd of thousands at Fort Mason — the latest stop in a campaign swing that included three major stops in the state over the last week. “The incredible crowds that we saw in San Diego and Los Angeles and here today.”
Sanders said he intends to win the Democratic Party nomination and then beat President Donald Trump, calling him, “the most dangerous, dishonest President in American history.”
The Democratic senator took time to point out that he has been on the vanguard of progressive politics. He cited policies that were previously seen as “radical” like “guaranteeing healthcare to all people as a right,” “legalizing marijuana,” and “an aggressive effort to combat climate change” and noted that mainstream candidates for President are embracing those same positions.
“Four years ago, the Democratic and political establishment were telling us how crazy these ideas were; today Democratic candidates from school board to President are talking about exactly these same issues,” Sanders said.
He pointed to recent health trends as evidence that Americans are in crisis.
“If you can believe this, over the last three years, life expectancy has gone down in America,” Sanders said. “Because people have lost hope. People are turning to drugs, they’re turning to alcohol. And they’re turning to suicide. This campaign is about bringing hope back to all Americans.”
Sanders also spent some time talking about his proposal for Medicare-for-all and promised to bring down drug prices. Sending a message to drug companies, he said, “We are not asking you, we are telling you: you’re gonna lower prescription drug prices in this country.”
Jose Padilla and his friends came all the way from Guerneville, and he says Sanders’ positions on higher education are important.
“College right now is just going sky high with prices and tuition’s going up, books are going up as well,” he explained. “I’m graduating high school this year and I’m so worried for my future right now.”
Sanders repeated his promise to “make public colleges and universities tuition free” and asked for a show of hands of people who still owe student loan debt. Then he made a promise. “If we can provide a trillion dollars to bail out Wall Street, we’re either gonna end that student debt completely or substantially reduce it. Take that to the bank.”
While, at the time, he said he had not read the newly-released summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, he said he knows he wants to see more.
“What I know is it is a summary of the report,” he said. “Well I don’t want a summary of the report. I want the whole damn report.”
Sanders lost the primary election in California in 2016, getting 46 percent of the vote.
“We blew it last time,” said Rhonda Gaines of Novato. The Sanders supporter said Democrats should not have nominated Hillary Clinton in 2016 but the country is ready for a total change from President Trump. “I think we’re ready to totally flip it and go with somebody that’s completely the opposite of what we’ve seen and Bernie can do that.”