Elections

Bernie Sanders tells Fort Worth crowd: Texas can turn blue to help defeat Trump in 2020

Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters in Fort Worth

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders visited Fort Worth while campaigning for the 2020 presidential race. Thousands of supporters gathered in Burnett Park to hear him speak, hopeful that Texas can turn blue.
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U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders visited Fort Worth while campaigning for the 2020 presidential race. Thousands of supporters gathered in Burnett Park to hear him speak, hopeful that Texas can turn blue.

Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders showed up in Fort Worth on Thursday, saying he believes Texas can go blue in the 2020 presidential race.

“I believe we can and will defeat Donald Trump here in Texas,” he told a crowd gathered for a rally in downtown’s Burnett Park. “Let me tell you why I think we are going to defeat Trump here and ... all over the country.

“People understand increasingly he is a pathological liar and a fraud.”

As a man stood on the sidewalk, booing Sanders and for a short time chanting “Trump, Trump, Trump,” Sanders touched on some of his traditional issues, including proposals providing Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage and fighting for working families.

“If we stand together, ... and keep our eyes on the prize, there is nothing we cannot accomplish,” Sanders said.

Sanders also defended his position that even those in jail should have the right to vote.

“I think the right to vote is what being an American citizen is all about,” he said. “If you commit a terrible crime, you are going to pay the price. But that doesn’t mean your right to participate in democracy is taken away from you.

“Once you take away someone’s right to vote, you are going down a slippery slope.”

Republicans spoke out against Sanders.

“Bernie Sanders seems to get more radical by the week,” Christiana Purves, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said in a statement. “With calls to eliminate private health insurance, give health care to illegal immigrants, allow for the government-takeover of key industries and even give terrorists and sex offenders the right to vote from prison, Sanders’ socialist schemes would bankrupt Texas and turn back the clock on progress.”

Sanders, who lost the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2016 to Hillary Clinton, held his Fort Worth rally on the same day that former Vice President Joe Biden announced that he, too, is running for president.

At least two Texans have joined the presidential race: Democrats Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro.

Before rallying in Fort Worth Thursday, Sanders was in Texas this week to attend a She the People presidential candidate forum at Texas Southern University and a rally in downtown Houston.

Sanders is the third Democratic presidential candidate to campaign in Tarrant County this year, following Kamala Harris, who visited in March, and John Hickenlooper, who spoke earlier this month.

Texas has long been considered a crown jewel for Super Tuesday, when, next year, voters in 10 states head to the primary polls on March 3.

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Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.
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