CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hosted a rally in Charlotte Friday as the 2020 Presidential Election moves ahead.
Sanders’ event began at the Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, on N. Tryon Street, at 3:30 p.m. Prior to the rally, he answered questions from WBTV’s Kristi O’Connor in a one-on-one interview.
In the 2016 Democratic primary, Sanders lost both North and South Carolina to Hillary Clinton. Sanders said his campaign will be more successful this second attempt.
“What we are doing now is building I think an unprecedented grassroots movement, much stronger than what we had four years ago. All over this country we have hundreds of hundreds of thousands of people out knocking on doors, making the phone calls. The reason we won the vote in Iowa, the reason we won New Hampshire primary is exactly because of that. We have a strong, strong grassroots movement,” Sanders said. “And we have refined our agenda as well. Make it clear that the time is long overdue for the working families of this country to get a break. For the government of this country to listen to their needs, rather than the needs of wealthy campaign contributors.”
Sanders told the audience at the beginning of his rally that his campaign relies on two fundamental issues: beating President Donald Trump and rethinking what he called broken establishments.
“I think people increasingly are seeing through him [President Trump],” Sanders said. “They are seeing through his racism, his sexism, his homophobia and his xenophobia. So, I think the President can say or do whatever he wants. I don’t think he’s going to get reelected.”
If elected, Sanders says he has a plan to improve upward mobility in cities like Charlotte that rank amongst the lowest cities in the nation for upward mobility.
“The essential problem that we’re having within the economy is that unemployment is reasonably low, but most of the new jobs being created are low wage jobs,” Sanders said. “So for a start, the least we could do is raise that minimum wage. Which here in North Carolina is starvation wage of seven and a quarter. We’ve got to raise that wage to $15 per hour. We have to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. We do that we create millions of good paying, union jobs. We have to transform our energy system in order to combat climate change and when we do that and invest in energy efficiency and sustainable energy and build a new transportation system, we can create a lot of good paying jobs as well.”
Sanders made a stop in Charlotte in May, 2019, just months after announcing his run for President. At the event, he touched on the aim for Charlotte voters to turn out to the polls in 2020.