Vt. Sen. Sanders supports Warren at Greenfield stop
GREENFIELD, MA - October 28, 2012 -United States Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made a stop in Greenfield to campaign on behalf of Elizabeth Warren. Photo by Beth Reynolds Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD — Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont stopped by to rally Elizabeth Warren supporters Sunday, praising Warren and characterizing her opponent, Republican Sen. Scott Brown, as a vote in the wrong direction.
Speaking to an audience of about 40 in the Greenfield Grille on Federal Street, Sanders said Warren has the intelligence to understand complex economic issues and to make them understandable to others.
“That is enormously important because people are hurting today and they don’t know why they’re hurting,” Sanders said.
Sanders, an independent and running for re-election against Republican John MacGovern in his home state, described the election as an opportunity to protect a shrinking middle class.
“Elizabeth Warren is tough and right now the truth of the matter is we have too few people in Washington who have the guts to stand up to big money interests and Wall Street,” Sanders said.
Sanders said the vitality of the middle class has historically been the strength of the country, but it is on the wane.
“If we don’t get our act together and put people like Elizabeth Warren into the Senate, our kids for the first time in the modern history of America are going to have a lower standard of living than we do,” Sanders said. “The American dream in reverse, people getting poorer.”
Sanders said the middle class is disappearing not only as a result of economic trends but due to unequal distribution of wealth, which he said is the most unequal of any major country.
The concentration of wealth in the hands of individuals and families like the Waltons, who own retail chain Walmart, is pushing the country toward an oligarchic form of society, according to Sanders.
Sanders also characterized the race as part of a numbers battle in the Senate, with the right to set the agenda and chair the committees responsible for legislation going to the majority party.
“You have a Republican Party that has evolved into a right-wing extremist party and it is terribly, terribly important that they do not gain control of the United States Senate,” Sanders said.
A member of the Senate environmental committee, Sanders said a Republican majority including Brown would put Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla), author of “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens your Future,” in charge of environmental legislation.
After speeches from Sanders, state Rep. Paul Mark, also up for re-election, and others, campaign staffers organized the audience for door-to-door canvassing.
Among the audience were David Roitman of Florence, a corporate management consultant, and teacher Diane Jensen-Olszewski of Deerfield.
Roitman said he supports Warren for her integrity and for standing up for consumers, pushing for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Jensen-Olszewski said a big reason she supports Warren is that the candidate supports public education and support for students pursuing higher education.
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