- Sen. Bernie Sanders held his first 2020 Iowa rally on Thursday night in Council Bluffs.
- In his speech, Sanders pointed to Iowa as the launching point of his "political revolution."
- Sanders recalled that when he first came to Iowa in 2015 at the onset of his last presidential campaign his ideas were dismissed as "too radical" and he wasn’t taken seriously.
- The Vermont senator said the "radical" ideas he campaigned on just a few years ago have now been embraced by "strong majorities of the American people, and "shock of all shocks" by his fellow Democratic candidates for president in 2020.
COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA — At his first 2020 Iowa rally in Council Bluffs on Thursday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont declared that he’d returned to the place where his "political revolution" truly began.
"I want to offer a very special thanks to the people of the great state of Iowa. In 2016, this is where the political revolution began," Sanders said to a cheering crowd. "Thank you, Iowa."
Sanders recalled that when he first came to Iowa in 2015 at the onset of his last presidential campaign, he wasn’t particularly well-known and "nobody took our campaign seriously."
The Vermont senator said his progressive ideas were dismissed as too "radical" at the time.
Fast-forward to 2019, and Sanders said a "majority" of Americans now embrace his views on issues like health care, climate change, education, and wealth inequality. Sanders also contended his fellow 2020 Democratic candidates have essentially adopted portions of his 2016 platform, with many embracing policies such as Medicare for All.
"By the way, those ideas that we talked about here in Iowa that seemed so radical at the time, remember that, well today, virtually all of those ideas are supported by strong majorities of the American people," Sanders said to a roaring crowd.
"And shock of all shocks, those very same ideas are now supported not only by Democratic candidates for president but by Democratic candidates all across the board from school board on up."
During the first of three rallies Sanders is holding in Iowa, he addressed a broad scope of issues as he simultaneously decried President Donald Trump.
"Donald Trump wants to divide us up by the color of our skin, our country of origin, our gender, our religion and our sexual orientation," Sanders said. "We are going to do exactly the opposite."
Sanders’ Thursday rally followed up his campaign kick-off event in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday, and a rally in Chicago, Illinois, on Thursday.
Iowa is typically an early campaign stop for presidential candidates due to the Iowa caucuses, which are the first big contest in the US presidential primaries. The results of the Iowa caucuses are widely viewed as a barometer for how well a presidential candidate will fare down the road in an election.
The crowd in Iowa, a predominately white state, was not as diverse or large as the one Sanders saw in his native Brooklyn on Saturday, but those who attended cheered loudly for the Vermont senator throughout the night.
Sanders is also set to hold rallies in Iowa City and Des Moines in the next two days.
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